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      WFMT The Morning Program with Carl Grapentine

      The Morning Program with Carl Grapentine

      Mondays - Fridays, 5:58 am - 10:00 am

      Keeping up with Carl Grapentine is a little like “Where’s Waldo.” Some people know him as a church musician. Others catch his pre-performance lectures at Symphony Center and Lyric Opera. Still others hear him calling plays for 100,000 football fans at Michigan Stadium. Each day, it’s Carl’s joie de vivre that lights up The Morning Program on WFMT. He’ll report the headlines, what the weather’s doing, and who won the big game (including the winning team’s fight song), and – of course – he’ll play Bach. In short, The Morning Program with Carl Grapentine is as essential to Chicago as that first cup of coffee.

      Carl's Morning Program Quiz

      Tuesday, April 15

      Sir Neville Marriner turns 90 today—born in Lincoln, England in 1924. He founded the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in 1958. But before beginning his career as a conductor, he played violin in the Philharmonia Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra. His son Andrew is currently a principal player in the London Symphony—on what instrument?

      Answer: Andrew Marriner plays the clarinet.

      Monday, April 14

      The great British actor Sir John Gielgud was born 110 years ago today. Along with Laurence Olivier and Ralph Richardson, they dominated the British theatre through much of the 20th century. Gielgud acted in his first movie in 1924 (!) but did not win an Academy Award until almost 60 years later. For what American film did he win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor?

      Answer: The 1981 comedy “Arthur” starring Dudley Moore.

      Tuesday, March 25

      The legendary conductor Arturo Toscanini was born on this date in 1867 in Parma, Italy. His conducting debut took place at the age of 19 in Rio de Janeiro when he left his spot in the orchestra of a touring opera company to fill in as emergency conductor of a performance of Verdi’s Aida. The rest, of course, is history. In what section of the orchestra was he playing? What was Toscanini’s instrument?

      Answer: Cello.

      Monday, March 24

      In 1900, a London newspaper reported on the first local performance of a new opera: “Those who were present were little prepared for the torture and murder scenes taken from Sardou’s play. What has music to do with a lustful man chasing a defenseless woman or the dying kicks of a murdered scoundrel?” What was the opera being reviewed?

      Answer: Puccini’s Tosca.

      Friday, March 21

      Today is the 329th birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach, born in in Eisenach in 1685. This month we are also celebrating the 300th birthday of his son Carl Philip Emmanuel (CPE) Bach, born March 8, 1714. There was one older son of J.S. Bach who also had a musical career. He was born in 1710. Which Bach son was that?

      Answer: Wilhelm Friedemann Bach.

      Thursday, March 20

      It’s the first day of Spring! In the spring time, the only pretty ring time, When birds do sing, hey ding-a-ling-a-ling, Sweet lovers love the spring! That text by Shakespeare which has been set by so many composers appears in what play?

      Answer: As You Like It.

      Wednesday, March 19

      Who am I? I was born on yesterday’s date in 1950 in Queens, New York. I entered Juilliard at the age of 18 and at 24 I became the youngest conductor ever engaged for a regular NY Philharmonic concert. I also conducted the Metropolitan Opera on tour in my mid-20s. My posts have included the Cologne Opera, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Paris Opera, and the Van Cliburn Competition. My current posts include the Los Angeles Opera and a summer festival in the Midwest. Who am I?

      Answer: James Conlon, 64 years old yesterday.

      Tuesday, March 18

      Russian composer Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov was born 170 years ago today. Best–remembered for orchestral showpieces such as Capriccio Espagnol, Russian Easter Overture, and Scheherazade, he was also a prolific composer of operas. Shortly after his death, one of his private students dedicated a short orchestra work to Rimsky’s daughter on the occasion of her wedding. Who was the pupil and what was the piece?

      Answer: Igor Stravinsky’s Fireworks.

      Monday, March 17

      Today is St. Patrick’s Day, so a question about an Irish musician—flutist Sir James Galway. He, along with Jean-Pierre Rampal, is one of the few flutists to have a successful solo career. He began as an orchestral player with the Philharmonia Orchestra. He then played with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, the London Symphony, and the Royal Philharmonic. Before embarking on a solo career he was principal flute of another major European orchestra from 1969-1975. What was that orchestra?

      Answer: The Berlin Philharmonic led by Herbert von Karajan.

      Friday, March 14

      The annual New Year’s Day Concert in Vienna is traditionally filled with music by Johann Strauss Jr. But the concert always concludes with a march by Johann, the elder—born on this date in 1804. What is the name of this composition?

      Answer: The Radetzky March.

      Friday, March 14

      The annual New Year’s Day Concert in Vienna is traditionally filled with music by Johann Strauss Jr. But the concert always concludes with a march by Johann, the elder—born on this date in 1804. What is the name of this composition?

      Answer: The Radetzky March.

      Thursday, March 13

      The Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam is one of the world’s finest orchestras. It officially became the Royal Concertgebouw in 1988 by decree of Queen Beatrix. Willem Mengelberg led the orchestra from 1895-1941! Bernard Haitink had a long tenure with the orchestra and was named Conductor Laureate in 1999. Who is the current Music Director of the Concertgebouw?

      Answer: Since 2004, Mariss Jansons.

      Wednesday, March 12

      The English composer Thomas Augustine Arne was born on this date in 1710. The leading British theatre composer of the 18th century, he worked mainly at Drury Lane and Covent Garden. He is credited with composing the song A-Hunting We Will Go and a popular British patriotic song which first appeared in a play called The Masque of Alfred in 1740. It is always sung with great fervor at the Last Night of the Proms. What is this patriotic song composed by Arne?

      Answer: Rule, Brittania.

      Tuesday, March 11

      It was on this date in 1829 that the Bach Revival began. Most of Bach’s music had been unperformed and unheard since his death almost 80 years earlier. But a 20-year old Felix Mendelssohn organized and conducted a performance of one of Bach’s masterpieces in Berlin. It was such a sensation that two more performances were scheduled immediately. What was the Bach work performed March 11, 1829?

      Answer: St. Matthew Passion.

      Monday, March 10

      Today is the birthday of Lorenzo da Ponte—born in Vittorio Veneto, Italy on this date 265 years ago. He died in New York in 1838. One of the more interesting characters in history, he wrote the librettos for 28 operas by 11 different composers. But he is best-remembered for the three he wrote for Mozart. What are the three Mozart/da Ponte operas?

      Answer: The Marriage of Figaro, Cosi fan tutte, and Don Giovanni.

      Friday, March 7

      French composer Maurice Ravel was born on this date in 1875. Late in his career, he wrote Bolero, originally titled Fandango. He called it “an experiment in a very special and limited direction. He also used the phrase “a piece for orchestra without music.” The 1934 film Bolero starring Carole Lombard and George Raft used Ravel’s theme. What 1979 romantic comedy film actually mentioned Ravel’s composition as part of the dialogue?

      Answer: 10 starring Dudley Moore, Julie Andrews, and Bo Derek.

      Thursday, March 6

      Dame Kiri Te Kanawa is 70 years old today—born March 6, 1944 in New Zealand. Her operatic career began in 1968 and she is one of the most beloved artists of her generation—particularly associated with music of Mozart, Strauss, and Puccini. Last year she appeared on the television series Downton Abbey, playing what character?

      Answer: Dame Nellie Melba, the Australian opera star.

      Thursday, March 6

      Dame Kiri Te Kanawa is 70 years old today—born March 6, 1944 in New Zealand. Her operatic career began in 1968 and she is one of the most beloved artists of her generation—particularly associated with music of Mozart, Strauss, and Puccini. Last year she appeared on the television series Downton Abbey, playing what character?

      Answer: Dame Nellie Melba, the Australian opera star.

      Wednesday, March 5

      Philip Farkas was born 100 years ago today. Who was Philip Farkas? Please answer from a Chicago standpoint.

      Answer: He was principal horn player of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1936 (when he was 22 years old!) until 1941. After playing 1st horn with the Cleveland Orchestra and the Boston Symphony, he returned to the CSO from 1948-1960.

      Tuesday, March 4

      Among several musical birthdays today—Antonio Vivaldi and Bernard Haitink, the most important—today is also the official birthday of the City of Chicago. Who wrote the song “Chicago” (that toddlin’ town)?

      Answer: Fred Fisher. It was published in 1922.

      Monday, March 3

      This year marks the 200th anniversary of the poem “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which became our national anthem. But it wasn’t officially adopted as the national anthem by Congress until this date, March 3, 1931! Who wrote the poem “The Star-Spangled Banner?” and in what city was he inspired by the sight of the broad stripes and bright stars?

      Answer: Francis Scott Key, when the flag was raised over Ft. McHenry in Baltimore during the War of 1812.

      Friday, February 27

      Thirty-one years ago tonight, one of the most-watched episodes in the history of American television was aired. The final episode of M*A*S*H featured music by Mozart as part of the plot. What was the work by Mozart that was heard by millions, 31 years ago tonight?

      Answer: His Clarinet Quintet.

      Thursday, February 27

      The English composer Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry was born on this date in 1848—166 years ago. He was director of the Royal College of Music from 1895 until his death in 1918 and was also professor of music at Oxford. He is best remembered for his coronation anthem I Was Glad, the hymn tune Repton, and for a setting of the anthem Jerusalem which is considered a second national anthem in England. Who wrote the poem on which Jerusalem is based?

      Answer: William Blake.

      Wednesday, February 26

      The Grand Canyon was established as an official national park 95 years ago today—February 26, 1919. Who composed the Grand Canyon Suite?

      Answer: Ferde Grofe.

      Tuesday, February 25

      The Beatles have been mentioned prominently this month—the 50th anniversary of their arrival in America in 1964. Today is the birthday of George Harrison. Most of the Beatles hits were written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Name one of the Beatles songs written by George Harrison.

      Answer: Something, Here Comes the Sun, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, It’s All Too Much, Within You Without You, Taxman.

      Monday, February 24

      Yesterday was the birthday of Georg Frideric Handel, born in 1685 in Halle, Germany. Most of his career took place in London and he is buried in Westminster Abbey. Handel wrote Water Music to accompany an excursion on the Thames by an English monarch who had previously been the Elector of Hanover—and Handel’s employer—in Germany. What was the name of this British king?

      Answer: George I.

      Friday, February 21

      The Spanish guitarist Andres Segovia was born on this date in 1893—121 years ago. He is the major figure in granting respectability to the guitar as a serious concert instrument. His contribution to the modern repertoire not only includes commissions, but also his own transcriptions of many works. A 1954 work written for Andres Segovia by Joaquin Rodrigo carries a dedication, of sorts, in its title. What is this work for guitar and orchestra?

      Answer: Fantasia para un gentilhombre—Fantasia for a Gentleman.

      Thursday, February 20

      Rossini’s comic opera The Barber of Seville had its premiere on this date in 1816 in Rome. One of the most popular operas of the last 200 years, Barber has just a few performances left at LOC. Who is singing the title role of Figaro, the barber?

      Answer: American baritone Nathan Gunn.

      Wednesday, February 19

      Violinist Gil Shaham was born on this date in 1971—he’s 43 today. He began his violin studies at the age of 7 in Jerusalem and played for Isaac Stern, Nathan Milstein, and Henryk Szerying. He made his Israel Philharmonic debut at the age of 10 and was admitted to the Juilliard School at 11. He received the Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1990—when he was 19 years old. Where was Gil Shaham born?

      Answer: Urbana, Illinois. His parents, Israeli scientists, were on academic fellowship at the U-I.

      Tuesday, February 18

      It’s well past Valentine’s Day, but here is a famous speech about love. When Duke Orsino says, “If music be the food of love, play on. Give me excess of it; that surfeiting, the appetite may sicken, and so die,” in what play is he speaking? Title and author, please.

      Answer: Twelfth Night by Shakespeare.

      Monday, February 17

      The world premiere took place 110 years ago today—February 17, 1904—at La Scala, Milan. Despite such famous singers as Rosina Storchio in the title role and baritone Giuseppe De Luca, it was a complete disaster! This was in part because of inadequate rehearsal time, but also because of some elements in the audience who were jealous of the composer, Giacomo Puccini. Today, it’s in the Top Ten of most performed operas in the world. And Puccini once confided that it was his favorite. What was the opera?

      Answer: Madama Butterfly.

      Friday, February 14

      Today, on Valentine's Day, music about love. From famous couples to beautiful love songs to magical tales of romance. This hour is devoted to various settings of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet--an overture-fantasy, an opera, a ballet, even a Broadway show. Who composed the opera Romeo et Juliette?

      Answer: Charles Gounod.

      Thursday, February 13

      This month, we're playing music about the Animal Kingdom. All of the music could be called descriptive. But in some compositions--such as Peter and the Wolf or Carnival of the Animals--specific instruments depict specific animals. In Peter and the Wolf, what instrument depicts the duck?

      Answer: The oboe.

      Wednesday, February 12

      Today is the 90th anniversary of the premiere of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, February 12, 1924 at Aeolian Hall in New York. The rhapsody was barely completed by the night of the first performance—Gershwin improvised some of the piano solo. And the Paul Whiteman Band played the connecting material. Later, when Gershwin created a final version, he had the dance band parts orchestrated by…whom?

      Answer: Ferde Grofe.

      Tuesday, February 11

      Gaetano Donizetti composed three operas—sometimes referred to as “The Three Queens”—dealing with the Tudor period in English history. The three operas are Maria Stuarda, Roberto Devereux, and…the third was just announced on Lyric Opera’s 2014-15 season. What is that opera?

      Answer: Anna Bolena.

      Monday, February 10

      As we’ve been saying, it may have been 20 years ago today that Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play, but it was 50 years ago today that everybody was talking about the Beatles' first performance on Ed Sullivan the night before. The first Beatles LP to be released in the United States was “Introducing the Beatles” on the Vee-Jay label. But a few days later, Capitol Records released the LP that most of us remember—the one with the iconic black and white photos of John, Paul, George, and Ringo. What was the name of that album?

      Answer: Meet the Beatles

      Friday, February 7

      The XXII Winter Olympic Games open today in Sochi, Russia. Classical music is most often heard at the Olympics during the figure skating competition. Who won the Gold Medal in Women’s Figure Skating in the 1988 Winter Games, skating to Rodion Shchedrin’s arrangement of Bizet’s Carmen?

      Answer: Katarina Witt of (then) East Germany.

      Thursday, February 6

      Queen Anne of England, the last monarch of the House of Stuart, was born on this date in 1665. Who composed an “Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne” which likened Anne to the rising of the sun?

      Answer: Handel.

      Wednesday, February 5

      After composing Aida, Giuseppe Verdi retired to his farm—for 16 years. But he was lured out of retirement in 1887 to write an opera based on Shakespeare. A few years later he concluded his composing career with another Shakespeare opera. Along with an much earlier opera, that made 3 Shakespeare operas by Verdi. Which two have Riccardo Muti and the CSO performed in concerts in the last few seasons?

      Answer: Otello in 2011 and Macbeth last fall. Falstaff is still coming!

      Tuesday, February 4

      Yesterday--when we had a question about the Super Bowl--was also the birthday of Felix Mendelssohn, born in 1809 in Hamburg. Although he lived only until the age of 38, he wrote symphonies, concertos, piano music, and chamber music. From 1845-1847, Mendelssohn was the Music Director of what major orchestra?

      Answer: The Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig.

      Monday, February 3

      Earlier in this hour we played some music in honor of yesterday’s Super Bowl winner. Yesterday was a special day in NFL history for another reason, too. The founder of the Chicago Bears was born on February 2, 1895. Who founded the Bears—and was also instrumental in founding the NFL?

      Answer: George S. Halas.

      Friday, January 31

      Franz Schubert was born on this date in 1797. Although he lived only until the age of 31, he composed almost 1,000 works—more than 600 songs, 7 complete symphonies, the Unfinished Symphony, 21 piano sonatas, 30 chamber works, 6 Masses, and 5 operas. Two of his famous song cycles—Die Schone Mullerin and Winterreise are settings of poems by the same poet. Who was the poet?

      Answer: Wilhelm Muller.

      Thursday, January 30

      Today is the 70th birthday of American cellist Lynn Harrell, born in New York in 1944. Son of the great baritone Mack Harrell, Lynn was the winner of the very first Avery Fisher Prize which he shared with Murray Perahia. Even earlier in his career, he was named principal cellist of a major American orchestra. What orchestra?

      Answer: The Cleveland Orchestra. He joined the orchestra in 1962 at the age of 18. He became principal cellist two years later.

      Wednesday, January 29

      English composer Frederick Delius was born on this date in 1862 in the north of England. He is probably best-remembered for his short orchestral pieces with wonderfully atmospheric titles like “On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring” or “Summer Night on the River.” He also composed some operas or, as some were called, Lyric Dramas. Name any one of these compositions.

      Answer: We’ll accept: Irmelin, Koanga, A Village Romeo and Juliet, or Fennimore and Gerda.

      Tuesday, January 28

      Sir John Tavener was born on this date in Wembley, London in 1944. Today would have been his 70th birthday; he died last November. A former classmate, John Rutter, described Tavener as having the “very rare gift of being able to bring an audience to a deep silence.” What is the name of the Tavener anthem sung at Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997?

      Answer: Song for Athene.

      Monday, January 27

      Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg on this date in 1756—258 years ago today. Music of the Baroque is performing Mozart’s Coronation Mass tonight at the Harris Theater. In her book “Mozart’s Women,” Jane Glover writes about the three most influential women in Mozart’s life. Who were they?

      Answer: His mother Maria Anna, his sister Nannerl, and his wife Constanze.

      Friday, January 24

      The German writer E.T.A. Hoffmann was born on this date in 1776. Offenbach's opera The Tales of Hoffmann is based on some of Hoffmann's stories. But the ballets The Nutcracker and Coppelia are also based on Hoffmann tales. He was born with the name Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann which would make his name E.T. M. Hoffmann. But he changed his third name in honor of a composer. What composer?

      Answer: He changed his name to E.T. Amadeus Hoffmann in honor of Mozart.

      Thursday, January 23

      Today is the birthday of the Russian filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein, born in 1898. Some of his early silent films included Battleship Potemkin and October. But two of his later epic films had scores by Sergei Prokofiev. Name BOTH of those Eisenstein films.

      Answer: Alexander Nevsky and Ivan the Terrible.

      Wednesday, January 22

      The great American baritone William Warfield was born on this date in 1920 in Arkansas. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, he went on to a career as a baritone soloist--especially in the song repertoire and oratorio. His most famous roles included Porgy in Porgy and Bess and Joe in Showboat. He taught at the University of Illinois for many years. And in his last years, Mr. Warfield taught at what local university?

      Answer: Northwestern.

      Tuesday, January 21

      Today is the birthday of tenor and conductor Placido Domingo, born in 1941. He is 73 today. A few years ago, after more than 100 recordings and more than 140 roles, he announced that he would sing some baritone roles to continue his stage career. He has sung Simon Boccanegra, Rigoletto, and Nabucco among others. Last spring he made his debut singing the role of yet another famous Verdi father at the Metropolitan Opera. What role did he sing last March?

      Answer: Giorgio Germont.

      Monday, January 20

      Last Friday, Lyric Opera of Chicago announced the plans for their upcoming new production of Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle. The last time LOC presented a Ring cycle was in 2005. Who sang the role of Wotan in those performances?

      Answer: James Morris.

      Friday, January 17

      Tomorrow is the birthday of composer Emmanuel Chabrier, born in the Auvergne region of France in 1841. Probably best-remembered for his Espana Rhapsody for orchestra and his Marche Joyeuse, he also composed several operas, songs, and piano pieces. The melody of his Espana Rhapsody became the basis for the popular song Hot Diggity Dog Ziggity sung by Perry Como in the 1950s. But another composer turned that tune into the Espana Waltz. Who made that version of Chabrier's melody?

      Answer: Emile Waldteufel.

      Thursday, January 16

      Today's mystery artist is a great American singer who is 80 years old today. Name the singer.

      Answer: Marilyn Horne.

      Wednesday, January 15

      Who am I? I was born 100 years ago today in France. I died in France in 1992, but I considered myself an American, coming to his country at age 7. My first music position was organist of St. Ambrose Church in West Hollywood, when I was 12! I went on to a career as a choral conductor and arranger. I founded two famous chorales--one named after me, the other the Los Angeles Master Chorale. I also taught at UCLA for more than three decades. Who am I?

      Answer: Roger Wagner.

      Tuesday, January 14

      Conductor Mariss Jansons was born on this date in 1943--he's 71 today. Maestro Jansons was Music Director of the Pittsburgh SO for seven seasons, leaving, partially, for health reasons. (His father died while conducting the Halle Orchestra in 1984.) He has been Chief Conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam since 2002. In what country was Mariss Jansons born?

      Answer: Latvia.

      Monday, January 13

      During a long illness, a German composer wrote a symphony for wind instruments and titled it "From an Invalid's Workshop." I, on the other hand, spent a great deal of time during the last four weeks watching football! Who composed "From an Invalid's Workshop?"

      Answer: Richard Strauss.

      Friday, January 10

      Conductor and composer Jean Martinon, the seventh Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, was born on this date in 1910 in Lyon, France. While a student at the Paris Conservatory, he studied with Albert Roussel, Charles Munch and Vincent d’Indy. Who were Martinon’s predecessor and successor as Music Director of the CSO?

      Answer: Fritz Reiner and Sir Georg Solti.

      Thursday, January 9

      Richard Nixon, the 37th President of the United States was born 101 years ago today in Yorba Linda, California. In 1963, Nixon appeared on the Tonight Show with Jack Paar and played a short piece arranged in the form of a mini piano concerto. Who was the composer of the short piece?

      Answer: Mr. Nixon himself.

      Wednesday, January 8

      Czech composer Jaromir Weinberger was born on this date in 1896 in Prague. He spent time in the U.S., teaching at Cornell and at Ithaca College. The name of his best-known opera is Svanda Dudak (in Czech). It has also been recorded in German as Schwanda der Dudelsackpfeifer. What is the English translation of Weinberger’s opera?

      Answer: Schwanda the Bagpiper.

      Tuesday, January 7

      French composer Francis Poulenc was born 115 years ago today in Paris. One of the staples of the flute repertoire, the Poulenc Sonata, was first performed at the 1957 Strasbourg Festival with the composer at the piano. Who was the flutist who gave the world premiere?

      Answer: Jean Pierre Rampal, who shares the January 7 birthday with Poulenc. Rampal in 1922.

      Monday, January 6

      Today is Epiphany, or 12th Night, the end of the twelve days of Christmas. And according to tradition, it’s the day the three wise men arrived in Bethlehem. According to that same tradition, what were the names of the three magi?

      Answer: Kaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar.

      Friday, January 3

      An art inspired question today. In 1874 the paintings of Russian artist Viktor Hartmann inspired Modest Mussorgsky to write a work. It appears in its original piano for, and has been orchestrated by a number of composers, most notably Maurice Ravel. What is this work by Mussorgsky?

      Answer: Pictures at an Exhibition.

      Thursday, January 2

      While in Vienna in 1783 Mozart wrote a letter to his father in Salzburg, saying he wanted to compose an Italian opera, and that he hoped a certain "Abbe da Ponte" would write the libretto. Lorenzo da ponte, w writer whose wit and elegance of expression matched those of the composer, collaborated with Mozart on three of the greatest operas ever written. Which operas by Mozart have librettos by Da Ponte? (name all three).

      Answer: Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), Don Giovanni and Cosi fan tutte.

      Wednesday, January 1

      Happy Holidays! Quiz questions will return on Thursday, January 2.

      Tuesday, December 31

      Happy Holidays! Quiz questions will return on Thursday, January 2.

      Monday, December 30

      Who am I? I was born in 1944 (NOT on this date). I am a graduate of The Juilliard School, where I studied conducting with Jean Morel. I have been music director of a number of major American orchestras, including the St. Louis Symphony, the National Symphony in Washington, DC, and my current orchestra, the Detroit Symphony. Who am I?

      Answer: Conductor Leonard Slatkin.

      Friday, December 27

      The John F. Kennedy Center for the Arts opened in 1971. Leonard Bernstein composed his dramatic oratorio Mass for the opening. Soon Chicago will have a connection to the Kennedy Center. What arts administrator, now working in Chicago, will become the President of the Kennedy Center next August?

      Answer: CSO President Deborah Rutter.

      Thursday, December 26

      Claude Debussy's early orchestra masterpiece Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun ("Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune") was composed between 1891 and 1894. A lyrical and atmospheric poem was the inspiration for this work. What French poet wrote a poem with the same title?

      Answer: Stephàne Mallarmé - who asked Debussy to write a musical contribution to a theatre piece based on the poem. This work never materialized and Debussy returned to his sketches, writing this work.

      Wednesday, December 25

      Happy Holidays! Quiz questions will return on Thursday, December 26.

      Tuesday, December 24

      Happy Holidays! Quiz questions will return on Thursday, December 26.

      Monday, December 23

      Many non-programmatic works, from symphonies by Haydn and Mozart to late 19th-century works by Strauss and Mahler, have been given nicknames. These titles usually evoke emotions or extra-musical connections. A number of Mahler symphonies have such nicknames, most of which are "un-official." Which of Mahler's symphonies is known as "Resurrection?"

      Answer: Symphony No. 2, written between 188 and 1894. the last movement is scored for two female soloists and chorus, in addition to large orchestra.

      Friday, December 20

      One of the most famous of incidental music scores is Edvard Grieg’s music for the play Peer Gynt. Morning Mood and In the Hall of the Mountain King are both very familiar pieces of music. Who wrote the play that Grieg’s music accompanies?

      Answer: Henrik Ibsen.

      Thursday, December 19

      Johann Sebastian Bach was the father of many children (20 is the number usually given). and a number of them became prominent musicians. Johann Christian Bach was the youngest sone of J.S. Bach and his seonce wife Anna Magdalena Bach. His early musical training came from his father, and then his older brother, C.P.E. Bach. JC Bach also studied and lived in Italy for many years and became the organist of the Milan Cathedral. Later he moved to another musical capitol and remained there for the rest of his life. What country became the adopted home of Bach’s youngest son?

      Answer: England – he was known as the “London Bach.”

      Wednesday, December 18

      The andante movement from Mozart’s Piano Concerto #21 in C, K.467 gained worldwide popularity when it was used as the theme of a 1967 Swedish film. What was the name of the film?

      Answer: Elvira Madigan.

      Tuesday, December 17

      Boston Pops conductor Arthur Fiedler was born on this date in 1894 in Boston. His father was a violinist in the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Arthur also joined the orchestra as a violinist in 1915. He was appointed conductor of the Boston Pops in 1930 and remained in that post for 50 seasons until his death in 1979. During his pops career he made more recordings than any other conductor, with sales of more than $50 million. Who succeeded Fiedler as conductor of the Pops in 1980?

      Answer: John Williams.

      Monday, December 16

      Ludwig van Beethoven was born on this date in Bonn in 1770—243 years ago today. One of the most influential composers in the history of classical music, his best-known compositions include 9 symphonies, 5 piano concertos, 32 piano sonatas, and 16 string quartets. He also composed other chamber music, choral works, and songs. The finale of his 9th Symphony is scored for vocal soloists, choir, and orchestra and is based on the text An die Freude (Ode to Joy). Who wrote the Ode to Joy?

      Answer: Friedrich Schiller.

      Friday, December 13

      Today is WFMT’s 62nd birthday—first going on the air December 13, 1951. Within the next few years, many of the great names of WFMT’s history joined Bernie and Rita Jacobs—Norm Pellegrini, Studs Terkel, Ray Nordstrand, etc. What are the names of WFMT’s two new announcers—both of whom joined the station this year?

      Answer: Candice Agree and Suzanne Nance.

      Thursday, December 12

      In Bizet’s opera The Pearl Fishers, two fishermen in Ceylon sing the famous duet Au fond du temple saint expressing their love for a Brahmin priestess. What is the name of the princess?

      Answer: Leila.

      Wednesday, December 11

      Today is the birthday of Hector Berlioz, born in 1803 near Grenoble. Last week we had a question about his Symphonie Fantastique which was on last week’s CSO concerts. Riccardo Muti opened the 2010 CSO season with the Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique AND its seldom-heard companion piece. What is the name of the other work by Berlioz?

      Answer: Lelio.

      Tuesday, December 10

      American composer Morton Gould was born on this date 100 years ago in New York. A child prodigy, his first composition was published at age 6. He began his career conducting and arranging music for radio program. He also wrote for Broadway and for films. He won a Grammy for his 1966 recording of Ives’ 1st Symphony with the CSO and later won a Pulitzer Prize in music. His commissions and awards fill pages. During WWII, Gould wrote an orchestral score titled American Salute. On what song is American Salute based?

      Answer: When Johnny Comes Marching Home written by the Irish-American bandleader Patrick Gilmore in 1863.

      Monday, December 9

      Yesterday, December 8th, was the 200th anniversary of the first performance of a famous symphony. It was the composer’s 7th symphony. Members of the orchestra included Louis Spohr, Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Giacomo Meyerbeer, and Antonio Salieri. Years later Richard Wagner called the symphony “the apotheosis of the dance.” Whose 7th symphony was it?

      Answer: Beethoven.

      Friday, December 6

      Polish composer Henryk Gorecki was born on this date in 1933. He would have been 80 years old today—he died in 2010. What is the subtitle to his famous Symphony #3?

      Answer: The Symphony of Sorrowful Songs.

      Thursday, December 5

      The Symphonie Fantastique by Hector Berlioz had its premiere on this date in 1830 in Paris. The symphony is on the CSO’s programs this weekend—including a Beyond The Score presentation—conducted by Stephan Deneve. What was the name of the Irish actress who was Berlioz’s inspiration (obsession?) for the Symphonie Fantastique?

      Answer: Harriet Smithson.

      Wednesday, December 4

      Who am I? When the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto had its premiere on this date in 1881, I wrote: “Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto brings to us for the first time the horrid idea that there may be music that stinks to the ear.” I was also caricatured in Wagner’s opera Die Meistersinger. And there is a theme depicting me in Richard Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben. Who am I?

      Answer: The German critic, Eduard Hanslick.

      Tuesday, December 3

      This Broadway musical opened on Broadway on this date in 1960. It starred Richard Burton, Robert Goulet, and Julie Andrews. And it is said to have been a favorite of President John F. Kennedy. What is the musical…AND who composed it?

      Answer: Camelot by Lerner and Loewe.

      Monday, Decemberr 2

      Who am I? I was born on this date in 1859 in Paris and lived until the age of only 31. Still, I was very influential in my field. My greatest work is said to have changed the course of art—and is in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. Stephen Sondheim even wrote a Broadway musical about me and my career. Who am I?

      Answer: French painter Georges Seurat.

      Wednesday, November 27

      Who am I? I was born in Lexington, Virginia on this date in 1979. I’m 34 years old today. I started playing my instrument at the age of 3—and began my recording career at 16. I’ve already won two Grammy Awards. I commissioned Edgar Meyer to write a concerto for me. And Jennifer Higdon’s concerto composed for me won a Pulitzer Prize. My newest disc was last week’s featured New Release of the Week. Who am I?

      Answer: violinist Hilary Hahn.

      Tuesday, November 26

      What is it? It has the highest electrical conductivity of any element. It’s a type of dollar coin. It’s a type of Christmas bell. It’s the color of Orlando Gibbons’ swan. What is it?

      Answer: Silver.

      Monday, November 25

      American composer and critic Virgil Thomson was born on this date in 1896 in Kansas City, Missouri. After studying at Harvard he became part of the arts scene in Paris of the 1920s and 30s. Yet his music had a very American flavor. He is probably best remembered for his operas Four Saints in Three Acts and The Mother of Us All, and his film scores. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his 1949 film score Louisiana Story. Name either of his first two film scores, written on commission from the U.S. Government in the 1930s.

      Answer: The Plow that Broke the Plains or The River.

      Friday, November 22

      Today is the 100th birthday of Alfred Benjamin Britten, born in a little fishing village on the east coast of England. He is best remembered for his operas—Peter Grimes, the best known—his song settings, the Simple Symphony, his War Requiem, and his Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. The Young Person’s Guide was written for an educational film with Sir Malcolm Sargent conducting the London Symphony Orchestra. It carries the subtitle “Variations and Fugue on a Theme by _______” By whom?

      Answer: Henry Purcell.

      Thursday, November 21

      It was originally composed as a ballet, commissioned by the Russian dancer Ida Rubenstein. It was first performed on tomorrow's date, November 22, 1928 at the Paris Opera. Its composer once called it "a piece for orchestra without music." What is this composition?

      Answer: Ravel's Bolero.

      Wednesday, November 20

      Beethoven's only opera had its first performance on this date in 1805 in Vienna. By the time of the first performance, Beethoven was calling the opera Fidelio, although he had originally planned to call it Leonore. In the opera, Leonore, disguised as a man known as Fidelio, rescues her husband from death in a prison.What is the husband's name?

      Answer: Florestan.

      Tuesday, November 19

      The Andante movement from Mozart's Piano Concerto #21 in C, K.467 gained worldwide popularity when it was used as the theme of a 1967 Swedish film. What was the name of the film?

      Answer: Elvira Madigan.

      Monday, November 18

      Who am I? I made my debut on this date in 1928. I went on to appear in more than 100 films, 9 of which were nominated for an Academy Award. I began appearing in print in 1930—and was the star of my own television show beginning in 1955. I received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1978 and I was the Grand Marshall of the 2005 Tournament of Roses Parade. I usually dress in red shorts, but I did don a sorcerer’s hat in a 1940 feature film. Who am I?

      Answer: Mickey Mouse, who first appeared in Steamboat Willie on this date in 1928.

      Tuesday, October 29

      Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni had its premiere on this date in 1787 in Prague. The commission which resulted in Don Giovanni was a result of the great popularity of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro in Prague. In Leporello’s famous catalogue aria, how many conquests is Don Giovanni said to have had in Spain?

      Answer: 1,003.

      Monday, October 28

      Today is the birthday of American composer and conductor Howard Hanson, born in Wahoo, Nebraska in 1896. He attended Northwestern University and for 40 years he was the Director of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. His Symphony #4 “Requiem” won a Pulitzer Prize. But those who have worn the blue corduroy have a special place in their hearts for his Symphony #2. Why?

      Answer: An excerpt from Hanson’s Symphony #2 is known as the “Interlochen Theme.”

      Friday, October 25

      Two famous composers of the Romantic era were born on this date just 13 years apart—Johann Strauss Jr. in 1825 and Georges Bizet in 1838. Bizet is best remembered for his opera Carmen which had its premiere shortly before his untimely death. Name any two other operas by Bizet.

      Answer: Pearl Fishers, The Fair Maid of Perth, Djamileh, Doctor Miracle, Don Procopio, and Ivan IV.

      Thursday, October 24

      Today is the anniversary of the first concert given by the Los Angeles Philharmonic—October 24, 1919. Past Music Directors include Artur Rodzinski, Otto Klemperer, Zubin Mehta, Carlo Maria Giulini, Andre Previn, and Esa-Pekka Salonen. Gustavo Dudamel is the now the Music Director of the LA Phil. What is the name of their home concert hall in Los Angeles?

      Answer: Walt Disney Hall, designed by Frank Gehry.

      Wednesday, October 23

      Who am I? I was born 90 years ago today in Richmond, Indiana. My education was at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, the American Conservatory of Music, and Northwestern University. I later studied at the Curtis Institute and the Juilliard School. I have composed operas, symphonies, orchestral and chamber music. But I am probably best known for my song settings. Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham has recorded an entire disc of my songs—including one which is the “official song of the WFMT Morning Program.” Who am I?

      Answer: Ned Rorem.

      Tuesday, October 22

      Today is the 202nd birthday of Franz Liszt. Liszt had connections to so many of the musicians of the 19th century. As a boy he knew Haydn, Hummel, and Beethoven. Later he studied with Czerny and Salieri. As a young man he met Berlioz. He also heard Paganini play and became a friend to Chopin and St. Saens. What famous composer became Franz Liszt’s son-in-law?

      Answer: Richard Wagner.

      Monday, October 21

      Sir George Solti was born on this date in 1912—101 years ago. Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1969-1991, Sir Georg still holds the record for the most Grammy Awards in history. One of his first positions was as an assistant and rehearsal pianist (a repetiteur) at the 1937 Salzburg Festival. The 24-year-old Georg Solti even played the glockenspiel part in The Magic Flute performances for what famous conductor?

      Answer: Arturo Toscanini.

      Friday, October 18

      One of the great composers in music history was also acclaimed, in his lifetime, for his keyboard artistry. His reply to the praise was this: “There’s nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.” Who said that?

      Answer: Johann Sebastian Bach.

      Thursday, October 17

      Who am I? I was born on this date in 1977—I’m 36 today. I am of African-American, Korean, and Caucasian ancestry and I grew up in Ventura, California. I studied at Eastman and briefly at Juilliard before being invited to join Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Center for Young Artists. My big break came in 2005 when I won the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition. Now I’m enjoying an international operatic career—but still considering Chicago my home base. Who am I?

      Answer: soprano Nicole Cabell, who is singing a recital at NEIU tomorrow night.

      Wednesday, October 16

      The Chicago Symphony Orchestra played its very first concert on this date in 1891. The concert—which took place at the Auditorium Theater on Congress—included music by Beethoven, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, and Wagner. Who conducted the first concert by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra 122 years ago today?

      Answer: Its founder, Theodore Thomas.

      Tuesday, October 15

      Lyric Opera’s production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly opens tonight. We’ll have the Opening Night broadcast beginning at 7:15. This production will run for several performances this month and then return in January with another soprano singing the title role. Name either of Lyric’s Butterflys.

      Answer: Amanda Achalaz in October; Patricia Racette in January.

      Monday, October 14

      American pianist Gary Graffman is 85 years old today—born in 1928 in New York. He began studying piano at the age of 3 and entered the Curtis Institute at 7. He made his professional debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the age of 19. He then studied with Vladimir Horowitz and Rudolf Serkin. In 1980 he joined the faculty at Curtis and served as its President for 11 years. What is the wonderfully droll title of Mr. Graffman’s autobiography?

      Answer: I Really Should Be Practicing.

      Friday, October 11

      Another Verdi question today. Tomorrow is the 78th anniversary of the birth of tenor Luciano Pavarotti. In Sir Georg Solti’s final season at Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, he conducted Pavarotti, Kiri Te Kanawa, and others in concert performances of what Verdi opera?

      Answer: Otello.

      Thursday, October 10

      Today is the day! The 200th birthday of Giuseppe Verdi. Born in 1813—into the world of Rossini, Donizetti, and Bellini—he lived into the 20th century and was the greatest figure in Italian opera of the 19th century. Verdi’s state funeral in 1901 remains the largest public assembly of any event in the history of Italy. Who conducted a performance of the Chorus of the Hebrew slaves from Nabucco at Verdi’s funeral?

      Answer: A 34-year old Arturo Toscanini.

      Wednesday, October 9

      The French composer Camille St. Saens was born on this date in 1835 in Paris; he lived until 1921. He was also a conductor, an organist, and pianist. A child prodigy at the keyboard, he learned to read and write at the age of 3 and played a recital at the age of 5. He is best-known for his opera Samson & Delilah, the Carnival of the Animals, Danse Macabre, 5 piano concertos, and 3 symphonies. What is the nickname of his final piano concerto?

      Answer: The Egyptian Concerto, #5.

      Tuesday, October 8

      The Russian composer Tchaikovsky spent some very happy times in Italy. One musical result was his Capriccio Italien. He also wrote a string sextet with a title referring to an Italian city. What is this work?

      Answer: Souvenir de Florence.

      Monday, October 7

      The Colonial composer William Billings was born on this date in 1746 in Boston. Even though he was without formal musical training, Billings became known as the Father of American Choral Music. Billings was able to make a meager living as a composer but died in poverty in 1800. Before becoming a composer, what was William Billings’ trade?

      Answer: He was a tanner.

      Friday, October 4

      Who am I? I was born in 1856. I first gained fame as a music critic under the name “Corno di Bassetto.” One of the best-known playwrights of the 20th century, I won the Nobel Prize for Literature. And I remain the only person to win both an Oscar and a Nobel prize. I also wrote a book about Wagner. Who am I?

      Answer: George Bernard Shaw.

      Thursday, October 3

      Just one week until Verdi’s 200th birthday so another Verdi question today. The CSO continues with concert performances of Verdi’s Macbeth. And LOC opens its season on Saturday evening with Verdi’s Otello. What is Verdi’s third Shakespearean opera?

      Answer: Falstaff, his final opera.

      Wednesday, October 2

      Two television series of the 1950s and 60s had their premieres on this date: Alfred Hitchcock Presents in 1955 and The Twilight Zone in 1959. The famous Twilight Zone theme (which wasn’t used until the second season) was by Marius Constant. What music was used for the Alfred Hitchcock program?

      Answer: Funeral March of a Marionette by Charles Gounod.

      Tuesday, October 1

      Who am I? I was born on this date in 1865 in Paris. In addition to being a composer, I was a prolific music critic. I also taught at the Paris Conservatory where my students included Carlos Chavez, Jean Langlais, Olivier Messaien, and Joaquin Rodrigo. I am best remembered for one famous orchestral poem. But I also wrote an opera about Bluebeard the Pirate and a ballet titled La Peri. Who am I?

      Answer: Paul Dukas.

      Monday, September 30

      One of the great violinists of the 20th Century, David Oistrakh was born 105 years ago today in Odessa in what is now Ukraine. He gave his first solo recital at the age of 6. He moved to Moscow at the age of 19 to begin his professional career. During WWII he premiered new concerti by Miaskovsky and Khachaturian and two sonatas by his friend Sergei Prokofiev. Later he was the dedicatee and first performer of two violin concertos and a violin sonata by what prominent Russian composer?

      Answer: Dmitri Shostakovich.

      Friday, September 27

      With Verdi’s 200th birthday now just 13 days away, the music of the Italian master is taking over Chicago for the next few weeks. COT is presenting Verdi’s Giovanna d’Arco…LOC opens next weekend with Verdi’s Otello…the CSO will be presenting the Verdi Requiem on his birthday, October 10…and tomorrow night, the CSO and Riccardo Muti begin a series of concert performances of what Verdi opera?

      Answer: Macbeth.

      Thursday, September 26

      American composer George Gershwin was born 115 years ago today—September 26, 1898 in Brooklyn, NY. He began his career as a song plugger, but soon started composing Broadway theatre works and, eventually, Classical music. One of his orchestral works was a suite drawn from his opera Porgy and Bess. What is the name that Gershwin gave to this orchestral suite?

      Answer: Catfish Row.

      Wednesday, September 25

      Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich was born on this date in 1906; he died in 1975. An anecdote that is often told concerns a bet between Shostakovich and the conductor Nikolai Malko. After they listened to a phonograph record of a popular song, Malko bet Shostakovich that he could not orchestrate the song from memory in one hour after hearing it just once. Shostakovich won the bet by producing Tahiti Trot in about 45 minutes. What was the song…and who composed it originally?

      Answer: Tea for Two by Vincent Youmans fr No, No, Nanette.

      Tuesday, September 24

      Today is the birthday of the English composer and conductor, John Rutter, born in London in 1945. After a time directing the music at Clare College, he founded the Cambridge Singers in 1981. A profile on NBC’s Today Show called him “the greatest living composer and conductor of choral music.” One of his earliest Christmas carols begins with the words “Going through the hills on a night all starry, on the way to Bethlehem.” What is the name of this Rutter composition?

      Answer: The Shepherd’s Pipe Carol.

      Monday, September 23

      It’s the first full day of autumn and we’re featuring music for the season. Of course, we played Autumn from The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi. The Four Seasons are the first four concertos in a larger work by Vivaldi. What is the name of that collection of 12 concertos?

      Answer: The Contest between Harmony and Invention.

      Friday, September 20

      Which operetta by Lehar was a flop in Vienna under the title The Yellow Jacket, but later became a hit in Berlin with Richard Tauber starring as a Chinese prince?

      Answer: The Land of Smiles.

      Thursday, September 19

      The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s new season begins tonight at Symphony Center with Music Director Riccardo Muti leading the CSO in music of Verdi and Brahms. But there’s also an overture by Johann Strauss on the program. What is the piece by Strauss which will open the CSO’s subscription season tonight?

      Answer: Overture to Indigo and the Forty Thieves.

      Wednesday, September 18

      What do these pieces of music have in common? Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto #3; Glazunov’s Triumphal March; Stravinsky’s Symphony in C; Walton’s Scapino Overture; and Prokofiev’s opera The Love for Three Oranges?

      Answer: They all had their world premieres in Chicago.

      Tuesday, September 17

      The story line of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro is a sequel to Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, with most of the characters appearing in both operas. Who wrote the plays on which the operas are based?

      Answer: The French playwright Pierre Beaumarchais.

      Monday, September 16

      Today is the 47th anniversary of the opening of the “new” Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center in New York. On that night, Thomas Schippers conducted the world premiere of Samuel Barber’s Antony and Cleopatra. Name either of the singers who sang the title roles.

      Answer: Justino Diaz sang Antony; Leontyne Price was Cleopatra.

      Friday, September 13

      Today is the birthday of composer and pianist Clara Schumann, born in Leipzig in 1819. She began her studies at the age of 5 and began a concert career at 13. After three years of opposition from her father, she married Robert Schumann the day before her 21st birthday. She continued to concertize even while raising seven children. What was Clara Schumann’s birth name?

      Answer: She was born Clara Wieck.

      Thursday, September 12

      In American usage, we have the terms whole note, half note, quarter note, eighth note, etc. But the British have different terms including quavers, semi-quavers, and, yes, hemi-demi-semi-quavers! What is the British term for a quarter note?

      Answer: A crotchet.

      Wednesday, September 11

      Benjamin Britten’s opera Billy Budd has an all-male cast. What opera by Puccini has an all-female cast?

      Answer: Suor Angelica, one of the three operas in Il Trittico.

      Tuesday, September 10

      One month from today is the 200th birthday of Giuseppe Verdi. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Resound Label is releasing a new CSO recording of a major work by Verdi this month. What work is it?

      Answer: Verdi’s opera Otello conducted by Riccardo Muti.

      Monday, September 9

      Alexander Borodin, the Russian composer, doctor, and chemist is best remembered for his opera Prince Igor, his symphonies, and his string quartets. Although he died in 1887, he won a Tony (Broadway’s annual award) in 1954. Why?

      Answer: Music from Prince Igor and his string quartets was adapted by Robert Wright and George Forrest for the Broadway musical Kismet.

      Friday, September 6

      Sixteen years ago today, Saturday September 6, 1997, millions of people around the world watched the funeral of Britain’s Princess Diana from Westminster Abbey. But that morning’s newspapers were filled with news of the passing of two world-famous figures the day before. One was Sir Georg Solti. Who was the other?

      Answer: Mother Theresa.

      Thursday, September 5

      Johann Christian Bach was born on this date in Leipzig in 1735. The youngest son of Johann Sebastian and Anna Magdalena Bach, he was much more of a traveler than his father. After early training from his father and his brother, CPE Bach, he studied and lived in Italy and became organist of the Milan Cathedral. Later he moved to another musical capitol and remained there for the rest of his life. What country became the adopted home of JC Bach?

      Answer: England. He became known as “The London Bach.”

      Wednesday, September 4

      Anton Bruckner was born on this date in 1824 in Ansfelden, Austria. Best remembered for his massive symphonies and his Masses for choir and orchestra, Bruckner was a gentle and devout man. He was most comfortable living in the St. Florian Abbey where he was the organist and a teacher. But he was a musical disciple of another composer of a much different temperament. Bruckner dedicated his 7th Symphony to this composer upon hearing of his death. Who was Bruckner’s idol?

      Answer: Richard Wagner

      Tuesday, September 3

      In Bizet’s opera The Pearl Fishers, two fishermen sing a famous duet expressing their love for a Brahmin princess, Leila. The opera takes place in what was then known as Ceylon. What is the current name of this country?

      Answer: Sri Lanka

      Monday, September 2

      Celebration of Labor Day - no quiz question

      Friday, August 30

      The Italian composer Amilcare Ponchielli was born on tomorrow’s date in 1834. Perhaps his best known composition is the “Dance of the Hours” from his opera La Gioconda. His “Dance of the Hours” was also used, famously, in a classic animated film from 1940…and a novelty pop record from the 1960s. Name either one of those uses of Ponchieli’s melody.

      Answer: Disney’s Fantasia…Alan Sherman’s “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah.”

      Thursday, August 29

      A well-known pianist and entertainer once replied to his critics with the words, “What you have said hurt me very much. I cried all the sway to the bank?” Who said that?

      Answer: [(Wladziu Valentino) Liberace

      Wednesday, August 28

      The American tenor Richard Tucker was born 100 years ago today—August 28, 1913 in Brooklyn. He made his Met debut in 1945 in La Gioconda and was the Met’s leading for 30 years. After his death, his family established the Richard Tucker Foundation to perpetuate his memory and support young singers. Recipients of the Richard Tucker Award include Renee Fleming, Deborah Voigt, Jennifer Larmore, David Daniels, Joyce di Donato, and most recently Ailyn Perez. Richard Tucker remains the only artist whose funeral was held…where?

      Answer: on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera.

      Tuesday, August 27

      Yesterday was the anniversary of the first performance of the oratorio Elijah. Elijah was originally composed in German. But with the premiere scheduled for the Birmingham Festival in England, the text was translated into English for the first performance—August 26, 1846. Who composed Elijah?

      Answer: Felix Mendelssohn.

      Monday, August 26

      Cristoforo Columbo, the Italian explorer and navigator—to whom we refer as Christopher Columbus—was born, perhaps on this date, in 1451 in Genoa. In 1492 he sailed west, hoping to find a new route to Japan. But, instead, he landed in what is now the Bahamas. His four voyages led to European colonization of the west. What Romantic composer wrote a Christopher Columbus Overture, as incidental music to a play?

      Answer: Richard Wagner.

      Friday, August 23

      The final movement of Beethoven’s Symphony #3 (Eroica), composed in 1804, is a theme and variations. The theme that Beethoven used first appeared in a Beethoven ballet score composed in 1801. The ballet’s subject was a figure from Greek mythology. What is this ballet?

      Answer: The Creatures of Prometheus.

      Thursday, August 22

      Today is the 151st birthday of the French composer Claude Debussy—born in St. Germain-en-Laye in 1862. One of his most famous compositions was inspired by a poem by Stephane Mallarme. What is this work by Debussy?

      Answer: Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun.

      Wednesday, August 21

      Another “who am I” today. I was born on this date 120 years ago. My mother was a Russian Princess who married her teacher at the Paris Conservatory; he was 77 when I was born. Our family friend Gabriel Faure discovered that I had perfect pitch when I was 2. I won the Prix de Rome at the age of 19 but I died at the age of 24. My sister lived for another 61 years before she was buried next to me at the Montmartre Cemetery. Who am I?

      Answer: Lili Boulanger, sister of Nadia.

      Tuesday, August 20

      Who am I? I am 39 years old today. I began studying violin at the age of 5 and practiced 7 hours a day. My teacher moved to London when I was 13 so my mother and I moved there too. At the age of 16 I began winning major international competitions and recording prizes. Since 2005, I have been a Professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Due to an injury, I didn’t play much from 2008 until last year when I returned to a performing career. Last month I gave a solo recital and played a concerto with the Chicago Symphony at Ravinia. Who am I?

      Answer: Maxim Vengerov.

      Monday, August 19

      The American humorist Ogden Nash was born on this date in 1902. In his verses for The Carnival of the Animals, he wrote the following: The swan can swim while sitting down, For pure conceit he takes the crown, He looks in the mirror over and over, And claims to have never heard of __________. Fill in the blank.

      Answer: Pavlova.

      Friday, August 16

      Conductor Franz Welser-Most was born on this date in 1960 in Linz, Austria. He has been Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra since 2002. Since 2010, he has also been the Music Director of one of the great opera houses in the world. Of what opera house is Maestro Welser-Most the Generalmusikdirektor?

      Answer: The Vienna State Opera.

      Thursday, August 15

      The musical travelogue, Escales (Ports of Call) depicts three different countries: The first movement describes Rome and Palermo in Italy. The second: Tunisia on the northern coast of Africa. And the finale: Valencia in Spain. Who composed Escales?

      Answer: Jacques Ibert, born on this date in 1890.

      Wednesday, August 14

      Yesterday was the birthday of the great film director Alfred Hitchcock—born in London in 1899. The magazine Filmmaker described him as the most influential filmmaker of all time. In a recent poll conducted by the British Film Institute, a Hitchcock film displaced Citizen Kane as the greatest movie of all time. What movie took the top spot in that poll?

      Answer: Vertigo—starring Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak.

      Tuesday, August 13

      In this Wagner year, we make note of the first complete performance of The Ring of the Nibelungs. It began on this date in 1876, which was also the opening of Wagner’s own opera house—built to his specifications in what German city?

      Answer: Bayreuth.

      Monday, August 12

      'How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank.' That’s the first line of Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music. From what Shakespeare play do those words come?

      Answer: The Merchant of Venice.

      Friday, August 9

      The French organist Marie-Claire Alain would have been 87 years old tomorrow—she passed away in February. Her father and both of her brothers were also professional organists. The world’s most recorded organist, she made more than 250 recordings and recorded the complete organ works of J.S. Bach three times. Who was her teacher at the Paris Conservatory?

      Answer: Marcel Dupre.

      Thursday, August 8

      A personal reminiscence. 40 years ago today I got out of bed very early because it was my first day as the host of the morning show at WQRS Radio, 105.1 FM. By my reckoning, I have hosted 36 years of morning shows in those 40 years—the only exception being my first stint at WFMT in the 1980s. In what city was WQRS located?

      Answer: Detroit, Michigan.

      Wednesday, August 7

      In 1899, Jean Sibelius composed the music for a patriotic pageant titled Finland Awakes. One year later he arranged the final portion as an orchestral tone poem. What is the name of this work by Sibelius?

      Answer: Finlandia.

      Tuesday, August 6

      Who am I? I was born on this date in 1809 and I am the second most frequently quoted writer—after Shakespeare—in the Oxford Book of Quotations. ‘Tis better to have loved and lost/Than never to have loved at all. Theirs is not to reason why/ Theirs but to do and die. Knowledge comes but wisdom lingers. The old order changeth, yielding place to new.' I wrote all of those lines. Who am I?

      Answer: Alfred (Lord) Tennyson, author of Ring out Wild Bells, The Charge of the Light Brigade, Crossing the Bar, and Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal.

      Monday, August 5

      We began the morning show today with a setting of the English folk song Brigg Fair—because the text begins, “It was on the fifth of August, Er the weather fine and fair…” The choral setting was by Percy Grainger. A 20th century English composer wrote an orchestral fantasy on Brigg Fair. Who wrote that orchestral setting?

      Answer: Frederick Delius.

      Thursday, August 1

      Over the years, several authors have commented on the music of Richard Wagner. Oscar Wilde said, “I like Wagner’s music better than anybody’s. It is so loud that one can talk the whole time.” Mark Twain once said, “Wagner’s music is not as bad as it sounds!” Who said this: “I can’t listen to that much Wagner. I start getting the urge to conquer Poland.”

      Answer: Woody Allen.

      Wednesday, July 31

      We’re about to play some Gypsy music! Music from songs, to operatic choruses, to instrumental music, many composers wrote music with a Gypsy flavor. Who wrote a composition for violin and orchestra titled “Gypsy Airs” or Zigeunerweisen?

      Answer: Pablo de Sarasate.

      Tuesday, July 30

      Who am I? I was born on this date in 1899 in England. I am best remembered for accompanying some of the world’s finest musicians, especially singers such as Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, Victoria de los Angeles, and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. My two memoirs were titled The Unashamed Accompanist and Am I Too Loud? Who am I?

      Answer: Pianist Gerald Moore.

      Monday, July 29

      Yesterday was Riccardo Muti’s 72nd birthday. Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and one of the most honored and respected conductors in the world, Maestro Muti is also considered one of the leading interpreters of the music of Giuseppe Verdi. How will Maestro Muti be celebrating Verdi’s 200th birthday on October 10th?

      Answer: Leading the CSO & Chorus and soloists in a performance of the Verdi Requiem (which will also be streamed around the world).

      Friday, July 26

      The American-born film-maker Stanley Kubrick was born 85 years ago today—he died in 1999. One of his signatures was the use of Classical music in his film scores—as we’re demonstrating during this hour. Kubrick had just finished editing what would be his final film when he died in 1999. What was Stanley Kubrick's final film?

      Answer: Eyes Wide Shut.

      Thursday, July 25

      Today would have been the 92nd birthday of the legendary former principal trumpet of the CSO, Adolph "Bud" Herseth—he passed away in April. Bud played 1st trumpet from 1948-2001, spanning the tenures of six CSO Music Directors. He studied for a while at the New England Conservatory of Music, but from what college in the Midwest did he receive his college degree?

      Answer: Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. His undergrad degree was in Mathematics.

      Wednesday, July 24

      Who am I? I was born 66 years ago today. At age 11 I began studying at the Curtis Institute where my father was one of my teachers. My concert career began in 1959—when I was 13—when I played at the Marlboro Festival which was founded by father, my grandfather, and my great uncle. I was also one of the founding members of the group Tashi. Who am I?

      Answer: Pianist Peter Serkin.

      Tuesday, July 23

      Pianist Leon Fleisher is 85 years old today, born July 23, 1928 in San Francisco where he began studying piano at the age of 4. Despite losing a portion of his career to focal dystonia, Mr. Fleisher has had one of the longest careers of any instrumentalist. He'll be playing at Ravinia this weekend. More than 50 years ago, he made a series of recordings for Columbia including the piano concertos of Beethoven and Brahms. With what orchestra and conductor did he make those recordings so many years ago?

      Answer: Cleveland Orchestra/George Szell.

      Monday, July 22

      Soprano Licia Albanese was born in Bari, Italy on this date in 1913. She is 100 years old today. Noted especially for her Verdi and Puccini roles, she was a leading star at the Metropolitan Opera from 1940-1966. She sang Butterfly more than 300 times in her career. And she sang more Violettas at the Met than any other artist. A former WFMT host used to say, "I get up in the morning and check the obituaries to make sure Licia Albanese is still alive. Then I go on with my day." What beloved WFMT staffer said that about his beloved soprano?

      Answer: Andy Karzas.

      Friday, July 19

      Another question today prompted by our “Music and the Visual Arts” theme of the month. In what opera does a picture on the wall come to life, urging the soprano to sing and sing until she dies? Give us the opera and the composer.

      Answer: Tales of Hoffmann by Offenbach.

      Thursday, July 18

      A question in observance of this month’s theme of “Music and the Visual Arts.” Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition was inspired by an exhibition of paintings by a friend who had recently died. What is the name of the Russian artist who inspired Mussorgsky’s Pictures?

      Answer: Viktor Hartmann.

      Wednesday, July 17

      Today is the anniversary of the first performance of Handel’s Water Music—a date easy to remember: 7-17-1717! The music was played by 50 musicians whose barge followed the King up and down the River Thames. The King liked the music so much that he asked that they play it three times over the course of the evening and early morning. What monarch was serenaded by Handel’s Water Music?

      Answer: King George I.

      Tuesday, July 16

      Violinist, violist, and conductor Pinchas Zukerman is 65 years old today. In his illustrious career, he has made more than 100 recordings and has been awarded 2 Grammys. Mr. Zukerman is also the conductor of the National Arts Center Orchestra in Ottawa, Canada. And he is married to the principal cellist of that orchestra—a Canadian cellist, daughter of a South African-born composer. To whom is Pinchas Zukerman married?

      Answer: Cellist Amanda Forsyth, daughter of Malcolm Forsyth.

      Monday, July 15

      The late Van Cliburn was born 78 years ago today. He was still studying at the Juilliard School when he won the very first Tchaikovsky Competition in 1958, thus becoming an American hero of the Cold War era. The second Tchaikovsky Competition in 1962 saw two pianists share the first prize—both of whom went on to major international careers. Name either one.

      Answer: John Williams.

      Friday, July 12

      The late Van Cliburn was born 78 years ago today. He was still studying at the Juilliard School when he won the very first Tchaikovsky Competition in 1958, thus becoming an American hero of the Cold War era. The second Tchaikovsky Competition in 1962 saw two pianists share the first prize—both of whom went on to major international careers. Name either one.

      Answer: Vladimir Ashkenazy or John Ogden.

      Thursday, July 11

      Who am I? I was born on this date in 1927 in Springfield, Massachusetts. I studied conducting at the Juilliard School and at Tanglewood. I won the Koussevitsky Conducting Prize and the Salzburg Conducting Competition in the 1950s. I’ve been the music director of several major orchestras including the San Francisco Symphony, the Dresden State Orchestra, and the Leipzig Gewandhaus? Who am I?

      Answer: Herbert Blomstedt, born in the US of Swedish parents. Returned to Sweden at age of 2.

      Wednesday, July 10

      German composer Carl Orff was born on this date in 1895 in Munich. Orff developed an influential method of music education for children called Schulwerk. But he is best remembered for his scenic cantata Carmina Burana, based on 13th century texts discovered in a Benedictine Abbey in 1803.  What are the first two words of Carmina Burana?

      Answer: O fortuna—Oh, fortune.

      Tuesday, July 9

      Today is the birthday of Italian composer Ottorino Respighi, born in Bologna in 1879.  His interest in early music led to his suites of Ancient Airs and Dances as well as The Birds. But he is best-known for his Roman Trilogy. What are the three compositions in Respighi’s Roman trilogy?

      Answer: Fountains of Rome, Pines of Rome, and Roman Festivals (Feste Romane).

      Monday, July 8

      Yesterday was the 153rd anniversary of the birth of Gustav Mahler. Mahler lived only to the age of 50, leaving his 9th Symphony and Das Lied von der Erde as yet unperformed at his death. Better known as a conductor during his lifetime, Mahler was sure that his compositions would eventually achieve fame. A quotation from a letter by Mahler expressed this sentiment and has come to be thought of as his motto. What is this phrase by Mahler?

      Answer: “My time will come.”

      Friday, July 5

      Yesterday, as part of our 4th of July program, we celebrated the birthday of American composer Stephen Foster, born July 4, 1826—the 50th anniversary of the Union.  What two famous Americans died that very day?

      Answer: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the 2nd and 3rd presidents of the U.S. both died that day..

      Wednesday, July 3

      This German city has been the home of three different concert halls, all bearing the same name. Only the first of those halls was aptly named because it was inside a textile or cloth factory. Still, the title remains on today’s modern version. What is the city…and what is the name of the hall?

      Answer: Leipzig Gewandhaus.

      Tuesday, July 2

      Dale Clevenger, recently-retired principal horn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, was born in Chattanooga, TN on this date in 1940. Who was the Music Director of the CSO who hired Dale as principal horn?

      Answer: Jean Martinon in 1966.

      Monday, July 1

      Today is Canada Day—and we’re celebrating with Canadian artists and music. Last year a French-Canadian conductor became the new Music Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Who is this Canadian? (Renee will be the judge on whether you’re close enough on his name!)

      Answer: Yannick Nezet-Seguin.

      Friday, June 28

      Baritone Thomas Hampson was born on this date in 1955. One of the great singing artists of our time—and a great friend of WFMT—Mr. Hampson has sung more than 80 operatic roles. He also is an ardent supporter of the art of song. In 2005 he established a foundation dedicated to the support and proliferation of the art of song in America and around the world. What is the name of this foundation?

      Answer: The Hampsong Foundation.

      Thursday, June 27

      Earlier this week we played music by two members of the Couperin family—who were related—and two composers named Charpentier—who were not related. What is the relationship between Giovanni Gabrieli and Andrea Gabrieli, both of whom were organists at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice?

      Answer: Andrea was the uncle of Giovanni.

      Wednesday, June 26

      Italian conductor Claudio Abbado was born on this date in Milan in 1933—he’s 80 years old today. Maestro Abbado has held some of the most prestigious posts in music: music director of La Scala; principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra; principal guest conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; music director of the Vienna State Opera; and principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic. After retiring from the Berlin Philharmonic in 2002, Maestro Abbado founded another highly-acclaimed orchestra—an orchestra that exists only in August of each year. What is that orchestra?

      Answer: Lucerne Festival Orchestra.

      Tuesday, June 25

      Today is the 103rd anniversary of the first performance of the ballet The Firebird. Based on Russian folk tales of a magical, glowing bird, The Firebird also marked the beginning of the collaboration between Igor Stravinsky and Serge Diaghilev that would produce two more famous ballets in the next three years. What were the next two Stravinsky/Diaghilev productions?

      Answer: Petrouchka and The Rite of Spring.

      Monday, June 24

      Yesterday was James Levine’s 70th birthday—born in Cincinnati in 1943. He is best-known for his four decades as Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera. He had been on medical leave since 2001 until he conducted the Met Orchestra last month at Carnegie Hall. During his medical leave, he resigned as Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Who was recently named his successor in Boston?

      Answer: Andris Nelsons was named Music Director Designate in May.

      Friday, June 21

      "Sumer Is Icumen In" at 12:04 this morning. What piece of music about summer was first performed in Detroit in 1956? Hint: it is scored for wind quintet.

      Answer: Samuel Barber’s Summer Music.

      Thursday, June 20

      Who am I? I was born on this date in 1946 in Nuremberg, Germany. A student of Leon Fleisher, I played a Mendelssohn concerto with the Philadelphia Orchestra when I was 14 years old. I came to national prominence by playing the Liszt Piano Concerto in Eb on a NY Philharmonic/Leonard Bernstein Young People’s Concert when I was 16. 41 years later I joined the faculty of the Indiana University School of Music. Who am I?

      Answer: Andre Watts.

      Wednesday, June 19

      Sir Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations (Variations on an Original Theme) was first performed on this date in 1899. It consists of fourteen variations, each variation being a portrayal of one of his acquaintances. What is the name of the variation that is sometimes used as an “in memoriam” tribute?

      Answer: Nimrod, the Hunter…or just Nimrod.

      Tuesday, June 18

      What do the following three people have in common? Classical conductor Hans Vonk…pop music superstar Paul McCartney…and film critic Roger Ebert?

      Answer: They were all born on this day in 1942.

      Monday, June 17

      Today is the birthday of Igor Stravinsky, born in 1882. One of his earliest orchestral works, Feu d’artifice (Fireworks) Op.4 was composed as a wedding present for the daughter of one of his teachers. What Russian composer was also one of Stravinsky’s teachers?

      Answer: Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

      Friday, June 14

      Today is Flag Day—celebrated on this date because the Continental Congress adopted the American flag on this date in 1777—although Flag Day was not established until 1949. One parody of Sousa’s The Stars and Stripes Forever used to close the old television program "Sing Along with Mitch." What was the first line of that parody?

      Answer: Be kind to your web-footed friends…

      Thursday, June 13

      Three weeks ago we celebrated the 100th anniversary of Stravinsky's ballet The Rite of Spring. Today is the 102nd anniversary of his ballet Petrouchka. On this occasion, Nijinsky danced the title role, Fokine was the choreographer, and the premiere took place in Paris. Who conducted the world premiere of Petrouchka?

      Answer: Pierre Monteux.

      Wednesday, June 12

      What do these pieces of music have in common? Beethoven’s Violin Concerto…Bach’s Christmas Oratorio…Haydn’s Symphony #103…Richard Strauss’ Burleske?

      Answer: They each begin with a timpani solo.

      Tuesday, June 11

      The beloved American mezzo-soprano Rise Stevens would have been 100 years old today. She passed away in March. She sang the title role in a 1952 recording of Bizet’s Carmen—with Licia Albanese, Jan Peerce, and Robert Merrill singing the other starring roles. Who conducted that classic recording?

      Answer: Fritz Reiner.

      Monday, June 10

      Another Wagner question in this Bicentennial year. Richard Wagner’s opera Tristan und Isolde had its premiere on this date in in 1865 in Munich. The opera was composed during the years that Wagner was involved in an affair with Mathilde Wesendonck. Who conducted the world premiere of Tristan?

      Answer: Hans von Bulow.

      Friday, June 7

      Tenor Roberto Alagna turns 50 today. He was born outside Paris to a family of Sicilian immigrants, June 7, 1963. He will be in town this summer singing what role in what opera?

      Answer: Radames in Aida at Ravinia, August 3.

      Thursday, June 6

      The Armenian-Soviet composer Aram Khachaturian was born on this date 110 years ago in 1903. Born to a poor family in Azerbaijan, he moved to Moscow at the age of 19 and graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in 1934. Among his best–known works are his ballets Spartacus and Gayaneh, and his violin concerto. The concerto was composed in 1940 and first performed by what violinist?

      Answer: David Oistrakh.

      Wednesday, June 5

      American composer Daniel Pinkham would have been 90 years ago today—he passed away in 2006. In addition to composing, he was the organist of King’s Chapel in Boston for 42 years, and appeared as an organist and harpsichordist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Pinkham’s most famous composition contains a setting of the text “Gloria in excelsis Deo.” What is the name of the Pinkham work from which this comes?

      Answer: Christmas Cantata.

      Tuesday, June 4

      The 1980 film Somewhere in Time, was a romantic science fiction tale involving time travel, starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. The film score was composed by John Barry. What piece of classical music did he use as the main theme (or love theme) from Somewhere in Time?

      Answer: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by Rachmaninoff—specifically, the 18th Variation.

      Monday, June 3

      On this morning in June, we offer the following: “Oh, my love is like a red, red rose. That's newly sprung in June. Oh my love is like a melody. That's sweetly sung in tune." Who wrote those lovely words?

      Answer: Scottish poet Robert Burns.

      Friday, May 31

      Another movie version of F. Scott Fitgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby is now in theaters. What American composer wrote an opera titled The Great Gatsby which had its premiere at the Met in 1999 and was performed by Lyric Opera of Chicago the next season?

      Answer: John Harbison.

      Thursday, May 30

      The final movement of Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony is a theme & variations—on a theme that Beethoven used on three other occasions. One of them was a ballet first performed in Vienna in 1801. What is the name of the ballet in which Beethoven first used what we now call the Eroica Theme?

      Answer: The Creatures of Prometheus…followed by the Eroica Variations for piano, and the Eroica Symphony, in addition to a contredance.

      Wednesday, May 29

      The ballet Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring) had its famous premiere 100 years ago today in Paris. It was produced by Diaghilev for his Ballets Russes company. The music was by Igor Stravinsky. Pierre Monteux conducted. Who choreographed the first performance of The Rite of Spring?

      Answer: Nijinsky.

      Tuesday, May 28

      One of Gilbert & Sullivan’s most popular operettas, H.M.S. Pinafore, had its debut in 1878 in London—135 years ago this week. When the plot finally unravels, Ralph Rackstraw ends up with his beloved Josephine. And the former Captain Corcoran ends up with…whom?

      Answer: Little Buttercup.

      Friday, May 24

      Today is the birthday of the French conductor and composer Paul Paray, born in 1886. He is best-remembered for his tenure as Music Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra from 1951-1962—and for the recordings he made for Mercury. During the last years of his tenure in Detroit, his concertmaster was a well-known violinist who joined the orchestra after the disbanding of the NBC Symphony Orchestra. Who was Toscanini’s concertmaster who concluded his career with the Detroit Symphony?

      Answer: Mischa Mischakoff.

      Thursday, May 23

      We just heard several selections--a song, an orchestral work, and an excerpt--from Shakespeare's play The Tempest. The main character, Prospero, is a sorcerer who lives on an island. But before the play begins, Prospero is overthrown from his previous position. What was Prospero's former position?

      Answer: Duke of Milan.

      Wednesday, May 22

      Today is the 200th birthday of Richard Wagner, born in Leipzig in 1813. His career took him to several German cities, but also to Riga, Latvia and Paris. He also lived in Switzerland for many years because he was barred from Germany for his political views. Wagner died in 1883, a few months short of his 70th birthday. Where did he die?

      Answer: Venice, while on vacation. He is buried in Bayreuth.

      Tuesday, May 21

      Who is he? It may surprise you to know that Ludwig van Beethoven thought he was the greatest composer who ever lived. And Franz Josef Haydn proclaimed him "the master of us all." To whom were they referring?

      Answer: George Frideric Handel.

      Monday, May 20

      Several of Tchaikovsky's symphonies have nicknames--#2 is the Little Russian; #3 is the Polish; #6 is the Pathetique. What is the nickname of Tchaikovsky's first symphony?

      Answer: Winter Dreams.

      Friday, May 17

      One of the great voices of the 20th century, the Swedish soprano Birgit Nilsson was born on this date 95 years ago. She once was asked what the secret was to singing the role of Richard Wagner’s Isolde. What was her response?

      Answer: "Comfortable shoes!"

      Thursday, May 16

      Igor Stravinsky's Ebony Concerto was composed in 1946. It was premiered by a famous clarinetist and bandleader in 1946 in Carnegie Hall in New York. Who commissioned and first performed Stravinsky's Ebony Concerto?

      Answer: Woody Herman (and his orchestra).

      Wednesday, May 15

      The English composer and conductor John Lanchbery was born 90 years ago today, in 1923; he died in 2003. He is best known for his ballet music and his ballet arrangements. One of his most successful scores was written for a1970 filmed ballet. Characters in that ballet include Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, Jemima Puddle-Duck, and Peter Rabbit. What is the name of the ballet?

      Answer: Tales of Beatrix Potter.

      Tuesday, May 14

      Most of Felix Mendelssohn’s symphonies have nicknames. #2 is the Song of Praise. #3 is the Scottish. #4 is the Italian. What is the nickname of #5...and why?

      Answer: The Reformation Symphony because it quotes Martin Luther’s chorale Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott—A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.

      Monday, May 13

      Sir Arthur Sullivan was born on this date in 1842. We just heard some of his concert music and a brief excerpt from a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta. During his lifetime, Sir Arthur was equally well known as the composer of a popular hymn. Officially, the hymn tune is titled St. Gertrude, but it's most often sung to lyrics by Sabine Baring-Gould. What is the name of this Victorian Era hymn?

      Answer: Onward, Christian Soldiers.

      Friday, May 10

      The English conductor Sir Colin Davis passed away last month. Sir Colin's greatest association was with the London Symphony Orchestra which he first conducted in 1959. During his career he also gained appointments with the BBC SO, the Bavarian Radio SO, the Sadlers’ Wells Opera, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. And he was a regular guest at the Boston SO and the NY Philharmonic. But before his career as a conductor, a younger Colin studied as an instrumentalist. What was his instrument?

      Answer: Clarinet.

      Thursday, May 9

      Another who am I? I was born on this date in 1914. I was Music Director at La Scala in the 1950s and spent most of the 1960s as a guest conductor and making many recordings. I was Principal Guest Conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra during the first decade of the Solti Era, and I later became Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Who am I?

      Answer: Carlo Maria Giulini.

      Wednesday, May 8

      Louis Moreau Gottschalk was born on this date in 1829. The son of a London businessman and a Creole mother, Gottschalk is best-remembered as a composer and a virtuoso pianist. At the age of 13 he went to Europe to study but was turned down by the Paris Conservatory because of his nationality. He spent most of the rest of his short life in Central America and South America, dying at the age of 40 in Rio de Janeiro. Where was Gottschalk born 184 years ago today?

      Answer: New Orleans.

      Tuesday, May 7

      Johannes Brahms and Piotr Illyich Tchaikovsky—those twin pillars of Romanticism—were both born on this date...Brahms in 1833, Tchaikovsky in 1840. They both were proficient in many different genres of music. Brahms specialized more in symphonic, choral, and piano music. Tchaikovsky in symphonic music, ballets and operas. All of their symphonies are in the standard repertoire. Together...how many completed symphonies did they compose?

      Answer: 10—4 by Brahms, 6 by Tchaikovsky.

      Monday, May 6

      Who am I? I was born on yesterday’s date in 1915. I was an Academy Award-winning actor, director, writer, and producer. I was known not only for films, but for my work on radio, stage, and even television. In a 2002 British Film Institute poll, I was chosen the greatest film director of all-time. I was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Who am I?

      Answer: Orson Welles.

      Friday, May 3

      Shakespeare's play Henry VIII will be staged this coming season by Chicago Shakespeare Theater. The play includes a song about a legendary musician from Greek antiquity. Who is the musician?

      Answer: Orpheus. The song is Orpheus with his Lute.

      Thursday, May 2

      Serge Prokofiev was commissioned by the Central Children's Theatre in Moscow to compose a musical symphony for children. He wrote the story and the music for Peter and the Wolf in just four days. The premiere was on this date in 1936. What character does the bassoon depict in Peter and the Wolf?

      Answer: Peter's Grandfather.

      Wednesday, May 1

      Mozart’s opera The Marriage of Figaro had its premiere on this date in 1786 in Vienna. In Act II of Figaro, the Count Almaviva—who usually addresses the Countess with very formal manners—calls her by her given name. What is the Countess' first name?

      Answer: Rosina, as we now know from The Barber of Seville.

      Tuesday, April 30

      Franz Lehar, best known for his operettas and waltzes, was born on this date in 1870—he lived until 1948. His most successful operetta was The Merry Widow, dating from 1905. Many of Lehar’s later shows featured tenor Richard Tauber in leading roles. This morning, you heard Richard Tauber sing Lehar’s Dein is mein ganzes Herz which comes from what operetta?

      Answer: The Land of Smiles.

      Monday, April 29

      Today, April 29, is quite a day for conductors’ birthdays. Sir Malcolm Sargent, Zubin Mehta, and Sir Thomas Beecham were all born on this date. Put them in order—oldest first.

      Answer: Thomas Beecham, 1879; Malcolm Sargent, 1895; Zubin Mehta, 1936.

      Friday, April 26

      Gaetano Donizetti composed three operas—sometimes referred to as The Three Queens—dealing with the Tudor period in English history. The operas are Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda, and...name the third.

      Answer: Roberto Devereux, named for a supposed lover of Queen Elizabeth I.

      Thursday, April 25

      On this date in 1926, Arturo Toscanini was conducting an opera at La Scala in Milan. But in the middle of Act III, he stopped, laid down his baton, and said to the audience: “Here the opera ends, because at this point the maestro died.” What opera was he conducting—title and composer, please.

      Answer: Turandot by Puccini, who had died two years earlier, leaving the opera unfinished.

      Wednesday, April 24

      Yesterday was Shakespeare’s birthday and St. George’s Day, so we were “all thing English.” It was also the anniversary of the day in 1792 that Rouget de Lisle was told that the French soldiers needed a stirring patriotic song. He fell asleep that night with words and music in his head. And the next morning he sang it through for the first time. What is the name of this stirring song that became the French national anthem?

      Answer: La Marseillaise.

      Tuesday, April 23

      It’s the Birthday of the Bard and we’ve been celebrating all morning long. Earlier we played several settings of Shakespeare’s text “It was a lover and his lass.” In what play do those lyrics appear?

      Answer: As You Like It.

      Monday, April 22

      Johann Sebastian Bach was elected the Cantor of Leipzig on this date in 1723. But he was far from the first choice of the town council. Name at least one of the composers who were offered the position before they had to “settle” on Bach.

      Answer: Georg Philip Telemann, Christoph Graupner.

      Monday, April 1

      Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, was the last big league park to install lights. The first night game took place August 8, 1988. But Wrigley was the very first big league park to use another electronic device that became standard in ballparks across the country. What device was first employed at Wrigley Field on April 26, 1941?

      Answer: A ballpark organ

      Friday, March 29

      Who am I? I was born on this date in 1903 in Bohemia. As a child prodigy, I was sent to Vienna at the age of 9 and made my solo debut with the Vienna Philharmonic when I was 12. My U.S. solo debut was with the NY Philharmonic and Toscanini in 1936. I taught several generations of pianists at the Curtis Institute, and I also founded one of the most famous of classical music festivals and schools. My son also became a famous pianist. Who am I?

      Answer: Rudolf Serkin

      Thursday, March 28

      The English composer Sir William Walton was born on this date in 1902. He is remembered for a wide variety of compositions, from symphonic and choral works to chamber music, film scores, and two coronation marches--"Crown Imperial" and "Orb and Sceptre." Name the two British monarchs for whom the coronation marches were composed.

      Answer: "Crown Imperial"--George VI; "Orb and Sceptre"--Elizabeth II

      Wednesday, March 27

      Today is the birthday of the Russian cellist and conductor, Mstislav Rostropovich, born in 1927. Rostropovich either commissioned or was the recipient of compositions by Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Britten, Messiaen, Lutoslawski, Berio, Penderecki, Khachaturian and others. In 1977, his friend Leonard Bernstein wrote an overture titled "Slava"--which is both the Russian word for "glory," and Rostropovich's nickname. What was the occasion for which the piece was written?

      Answer: Rostropovich becoming Music Director of the National Symphony of Washington D.C.

      Tuesday, March 26

      The French conductor and composer Pierre Boulez—who is also Conductor Emeritus of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra—was born on this date in 1925; he is 88 years old today. Always "cutting edge" as a composer, his conducting style is described as "spare" and "economical." As a conductor, he has a few idiosyncrasies: he eschews white tie and tails in favor of a plain tuxedo. Another has to do with the physical act of conducting an orchestra. What is this Boulez custom?

      Answer: He uses no baton, conducting with hands only.

      Monday, March 25

      The Hungarian pianist and composer Bela Bartok was born on this date in 1881. As a piano teacher at the Royal Academy in Budapest, his pupils included Fritz Reiner, Georg Solti, and Lili Kraus. He emigrated to the U.S.–where he was better known as a pianist than a composer—during WWII but had difficulty finding an audience for his music. His countrymen Josef Szigeti and Fritz Reiner persuaded Serge Koussevitsky to commission what became Bartok’s most famous work the Concerto for Orchestra. What is the name of Bartok's only opera?

      Answer: Bluebeard's Castle, composed in 1911.

      Friday, March 22

      Who am I? I was born in Strasbourg 90 years ago today. During WWII my parents were prisoners at Auschwitz; my mother survived. As a performer, I was known world-wide. As an author, I wrote two books for children: The Alphabet Book and The Counting Book. I also wrote several volumes of poetry, prose, and illustrations. As a teacher, I opened my own school in Paris. I also appeared in several movies—probably most famously when I uttered the only word of dialogue in Mel Brooks' Silent Movie. Who am I?

      Answer: French mime and actor Marcel Marceau (deceased, 2007).

      Thursday, March 21

      Johann Sebastian Bach was born on this date in Eisenach in 1685. Another famous Baroque composer was born 26 days earlier about 80 miles away. But these two composers never met. Who was the other composer?

      Answer: George Frideric Handel.

      Wednesday, March 20

      It's the first morning of Spring! In the spring time, the only pretty ring time, When birds do sing, hey ding-a-ding ding, Sweet lovers love the spring! That text by Shakespeare which has been set by so many composers—many of which we heard last hour—appears in what play?

      Answer: As You Like It.

      Tuesday, March 19

      Who am I? I was born on yesterday's date in 1950 in Queens, New York. I entered Juilliard at the age of 18 and at 24 I became the youngest conductor ever engaged for a regular NY Philharmonic concert. I also conducted the Metropolitan Opera on tour in my mid-20s. My posts have included the Cologne Opera, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Paris Opera, and the Van Cliburn Competition. My current posts include the Los Angeles Opera, and a summer music festival near Chicago. Who am I?

      Answer: James Conlon, 63 years old yesterday.

      Monday, March 18

      Today is the birthday of the Russian composer Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, born in 1844. Best remembered for orchestral works such as Capriccio Espagnol, Russian Easter Overture, and Scheherazade, he was also a prolific composer of operas—which are not as often performed in the West. Shortly after his death, one of his private students dedicated a short orchestral work to Rimsky's daughter on the occasion of her wedding. Who was the student AND what was the piece?

      Answer: Igor Stravinsky's Fireworks.

      Friday, March 15

      Today is March 15—the Ides of March. In ancient times, the Ides of March was a festive day dedicated to the god Mars celebrated with a military parade. It is also known as the day on which Julius Caesar was murdered in the Roman Senate in 44 B.C. What Baroque composer wrote an Italian opera about Julius Caesar?

      Answer: Handel, the opera Giulio Cesare.

      Thursday, March 14

      Johann Strauss Sr. was born on this date in 1804. His son, Johann Jr. followed him into the family music business and became even more famous than his father. And even though Johann Junior's music is a mainstay of each year's New Year's Day concert in Vienna, a work by his father closes each year's concert. What is it?

      Answer: The Radetzky March.

      Wednesday, March 13

      The Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam is one of the world's finest orchestras. It officially became the Royal Concertgebouw in 1988 by decree of Queen Beatrix. Mariss Jansons is the orchestra's current Music Director. But an earlier conductor is credited with making the orchestra a world-class ensemble. Who was conductor of the Concertgebouw from 1895-1941? (!)

      Answer: Willem Mengelberg.

      Tuesday, March 12

      Who am I? I was born 264 years ago this week in Venice. Jewish by birth, I was ordained a Roman Catholic priest—until being banished for taking a mistress. I was Court Poet to Emperor Joseph II of Austria and later moved to Prague and London before fleeing to America to escape my creditors. In NY, I gave Italian lessons, opened a grocery store and a book store. I became Professor of Italian Literature at Columbia University. I am buried in Queens, NY, but am best remembered for being the librettist for three famous operas. Who am I?

      Answer: Lorenzo da Ponte—librettist for Marriage of Figaro, Cosi fan tutte, and Don Giovanni.

      Monday, March 11

      It was on this date in 1829 that the Bach Revival began. Most of his music had been unperformed and unheard since his death almost 80 years earlier. But a 20-year-old Felix Mendelssohn organized and conducted a performance of Bach's epic masterpiece The St. Matthew Passion. It was such a sensation that two more performances were scheduled immediately. Where—in what city—did these concerts take place?

      Answer: Berlin.

      Friday, March 8

      Today is the 102nd anniversary of the birth of American composer Alan Hovhaness. Of Armenian and Scottish ancestry, Hovahaness was among the most prolific of 20th century composers. His official catalogue lists 67 numbered symphonies and 434 opus numbers. One of his most famous works is his symphony #2, composed in the 1950, which bears what nickname?

      Answer: Mysterious Mountain.

      Thursday, March 7

      Today is the birthday of French composer Maurice Ravel— born in the Basque town of Ciboure in 1875. Late in his career he wrote Bolero, originally titled Fandango. He called it, "an experiment in a very special and limited direction." He also used the phrase, "a piece for orchestra without music." The 1934 Hollywood film Bolero, starring Carole Lombard and George Raft made use of Ravel's theme. What 1979 romantic comedy film actually mentioned Ravel’s composition as part of the dialogue?

      Answer: 10 starring Dudley Moore, Julie Andrews, and Bo Derek.

      Wednesday, March 6

      Who am I? I was born on this date in 1930 in France, but did not live there for long. I was a child prodigy as a conductor—making my debut at the age of 8 and conducting the NBC Symphony at 11. I have had one of the most wide-ranging of conducting careers. My posts have included the Deutsche Opera Berlin, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Vienna St. Opera, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic. Recently I stepped in to conduct the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on tour in the Far East. Who am I?

      Answer: Lorin Maazel.

      Tuesday, March 5

      Two legendary former 1st-chair players of the Chicago Symphony were born on this date: cellist Frank Miller, 101 years ago and horn player Philip Farkas, born 99 years ago. Another famous horn player was born on this date. He was born in Australia—his career was mostly in England—and then he taught and lived in Baltimore for several years. Who is this horn virtuoso born in 1931?

      Answer: Barry Tuckwell.

      Monday, March 4

      Today is the birthday of Antonio Vivaldi—born in Venice in 1678. Vivaldi—composer, violinist, and priest—composed hundreds of concertos, sacred choral works, and more than 40 operas. His best known concertos, the four violin concertos known as The Four Seasons come from a larger set of twelve violin concertos. What is the title of this set of concertos?

      Answer: The Contest between Harmony and Invention.

      Friday, March 1

      Frederic Chopin was born in Poland on this date in 1810. Virtually all of his compositions were for piano. Alexander Glazunov was the first to orchestrate Chopin’s music to be danced. A full-length ballet, based on Chopin, was premiered by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes on June 2, 1909 in Paris. What was the name of that ballet?

      Answer: Les Sylphides.

      Thursday, February 28

      Thirty years ago tonight, one of the most-watched episodes in the history of American television was aired. The opening movement of Mozart's Clarinet Quintet figured prominently in the score of the show—and in the plot of that episode. What television program was aired 30 years ago tonight?

      Answer: The final episode of M*A*S*H.

      Wednesday, February 27

      The English composer Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry was born on this date in 1848—165 years ago. He was director of the Royal College of Music from 1895 until his death in 1918 and was also professor of music at Oxford. He is best remembered for his coronation anthem I Was Glad, the hymn tune Repton, and for a setting of a William Blake poem that is considered a second national anthem in England. What is this anthem by Parry?

      Answer: Jerusalem.

      Tuesday, February 26

      Today is the birthday of the French poet, novelist, and dramatist Victor Hugo, born in 1802. At Sunday's Academy Awards, a film of a musical based on a Victor Hugo novel was nominated for 8 Oscars. AND...an opera based on Victor Hugo is currently running at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Name the musical and the opera.

      Answer: Les Miserables and Verdi's Rigoletto.

      Monday, February 25

      Today is the birthday of the English pianist, Dame Myra Hess, born in 1890. The International Music Foundation has presented the Dame Myra Hess Concerts in Chicago for almost 36 years. A few weeks ago, the IMF brought the play Admission—One Shilling to Preston Bradley Hall. Who played the role of Dame Myra?

      Answer: Lesley Nicol—also known as Mrs. Patmore on Downton Abbey.

      Friday, February 22

      Today is George Washington’s birthday, born February 22, 1732. Washington was born about five weeks before a famous classical composer—a composer who died the year Abraham Lincoln was born. Who is this composer?

      Answer: Franz Josef Haydn, 1732-1809.

      Thursday, February 21

      The Spanish guitarist Andres Segovia was born on this date in 1893—120 years ago. He is considered the major figure in granting respectability to the guitar as a serious concert instrument. His contribution to the modern repertoire not only includes commissions but also his own transcriptions of classical or baroque works. One work written for Andres Segovia has a title that translates: "Fantasia for a Gentleman." Who composed that work?

      Answer: Joaquin Rodrigo.

      Wednesday, February 20

      Rossini's comic opera The Barber of Seville had its premiere on this date in 1816 in Rome. One of the most popular of operas for almost 200 years, Barber is on Lyric Opera's schedule for next season. Who will be singing the title role of Figaro, the barber?

      Answer: American baritone Nathan Gunn.

      Tuesday, February 19

      Violinist Gil Shaham was born on this date in 1971— he's 42 today. He began his violin studies at the age of 7 in Jerusalem and was invited to play for Isaac Stern, Nathan Milstein, and Henryk Szeryng. He made his Israel Philharmonic debut at the age of 10 and was admitted to the Juilliard School at the age of 11. He received the Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1990— when he was 19 years old. Where was Gil Shaham born?

      Answer: Urbana, Illinois, when his parents, Israeli scientists, were on an academic fellowship at the Univ-IL.

      Monday, February 18

      The Czech film director Milos Forman— who became an American citizen in 1977— was born on this date in 1932. He is known for directing films on a wide range of topics. He filmed the rock musical Hair in 1979— and next directed Amadeus which won 8 Academy Awards. His first big success came in 1975 when his film swept the top five categories in the Academy Awards— Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, and Screenplay. What was this film by Milos Forman?

      Answer: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

      Friday, February 15

      Today is the birthday of the German composer Michael Praetorius, born in 1571. One of the most versatile composers of his age, he was important in the development of musical forms based on Protestant hymns. What is the name of his 1612 collection of more than 300 dances?

      Answer: Terpsichore.

      Thursday, February 14

      A Valentine's Day question: when Duke Orsino says, "If music be the food of love, play on. Give me excess of it; that surfeiting, the appetite may sicken, and so die," in what Shakespeare play is he speaking?

      Answer: Twelfth Night.

      Wednesday, February 13

      Lyric Opera of Chicago last week announced its repertoire for the coming 2013-14 season. The operetta offering around the holiday season will be Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss Jr. Act II of Die Fledermaus takes place at a ball at the palace of what character?

      Answer: Prince Orlofsky.

      Tuesday, February 12

      Today is the anniversary of the premiere of George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, February 12, 1924 at Aeolian Hall in New York. The rhapsody was barely completed by the night of the performance. Gershwin improvised some of the piano solo and the orchestra—more of a dance band—played the connecting material. Later, when Gershwin created a final version, he had the dance band parts orchestrated by Ferde Grofe. What was the orchestra that gave the first performance of Rhapsody in Blue?

      Answer: The Paul Whiteman Orchestra.

      Monday, February 11

      I share my February 11 birthday with one classical musician, the Czech pianist Rudolf Firkusny. More than twenty years ago Mr. Firkusny was the unlikely co-star of a commercial featuring basketball star David Robinson. What product was promoted by the commercial?

      Answer: Nike.

      Friday, February 8

      Composer and conductor John Williams is 81 years old today. One of the most prolific of film composers, he composed music for the Star Wars saga, Jaws, Superman, the Indiana Jones films, E.T., Jurassic Park and many more. He has written scores for four Olympic Games, NBC News, the rededication of the Statue of Liberty, and President Obama’s first inauguration. One of his five Academy Awards came for a score in which Itzhak Perlman played the solo violin part in the soundtrack. What was that film?

      Answer: Schindler's List.

      Thursday, February 7

      Over the weekend was the birthday of Felix Mendelssohn—born in Hamburg in 1809—and we still have a Mendelssohn Immersion coming up this weekend. Although he lived only to the age of 38, he wrote symphonies, concertos, oratorios, piano music, and chamber music. From 1845-1847, Mendelssohn was the Music Director of what major orchestra?

      Answer: The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.

      Wednesday, February 6

      Queen Anne of England, the last monarch of the House of Stuart, was born on this date in 1665. Who composed an "Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne" which likened Anne to the rising of the sun?

      Answer: G.F. Handel.

      Tuesday, February 5

      After composing Aida, Giuseppe Verdi retired to his farm—for 16 years, anyway. But he was lured out of retirement in 1887 to write an opera based on a Shakespeare drama. A few years later he composed one more Shakespearean opera. What were Verdi's final two operas?

      Answer: Otello and Falstaff.

      Monday, February 4

      Name the Grammy-winning singer who played the piano and sang the Nation Anthem at last evening's Super Bowl XLVII?

      Answer: Alicia Keys.

      Friday, February 1

      Puccini's opera La Boheme—currently playing at Lyric Opera of Chicago—had its premiere on this date in 1896 in Turin. Puccini had already had a success in Manon Lescaut, but Boheme made him rich and famous. The world premiere, 117 years ago today, was entrusted to a 28-year old conductor. Who was he?

      Answer: Arturo Toscanini (You would know that if you've attended one of Carl's pre-opera Boheme lectures at Lyric Opera!).

      Thursday, January 31

      Franz Schubert was born on this date in 1797. Although he lived only until the age of 31, he composed almost one-thousand works—more than 600 songs, 7 complete symphonies, the Unfinished Symphony, and a sketch of a 9th. Piano works include 21 sonatas plus many shorter pieces. There are 30 chamber works, 6 Masses, and 5 operas. Schubert was also the member of a famous performing group—as were conductors Hans Richter, Felix Mottl, and Clemens Krauss in their time. In what ensemble did all of these musicians perform at some point?

      Answer: The Vienna Boys Choir.

      Wednesday, January 30

      Cellist Lynn Harrell was born on this date in New York in 1944. Son of the great baritone Mack Harrell, Lynn was the winner of the very first Avery Fisher Prize which he shared with Murray Perahia. Even earlier in his career, he was named principal cellist of a major symphony orchestra? What was the orchestra?

      Answer: The Cleveland Orchestra. He joined the orchestra in 1962 at the age of 18. He became principal cellist two years later.

      Tuesday, January 29

      The English composer Frederick Delius was born on this date in 1862. Delius wrote a rhapsody for orchestra based on an English folk song—a song that begins with the words, "It was on the 5th of August." What is the name of the song/rhapsody?

      Answer: Brigg Fair.

      Monday, January 28

      A famous composer once said to another composer— "I tell you before God and as an honest man, your son is the greatest composer known to me either in person or by name." A three part question: Who said it...to whom did he say it...and about whom was he speaking?

      Answer: Haydn...Leopold Mozart...Wolfgang Mozart.

      Friday, January 25

      The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is currently on tour in Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, and Korea. Conductors Osmo Vanska and Lorin Maazel are substituting for Music Director Riccardo Muti who is undergoing surgery. In 1949, the CSO offered its principal conductor post to a German conductor. But the orchestra was forced to rescind the offer under the threat of boycott from several prominent musicians. Who was offered the CSO post in 1949?

      Answer: Wilhelm Furtwangler, whose decision to remain in Germany during WWII caused criticism and scrutiny.

      Thursday, January 24

      Today is a special edition of the WFMT Morning Program with our studio audience and breakfast from Tre Kronor. I’ve been the host of the Morning Program since 1996. For the seven years before that, Jim Unrath hosted mornings. But before that, WFMT employed a rotating schedule with each announcer hosting one morning per week. What is the name of the WFMT announcer from the early years who is credited with writing the WFMT Announcer Audition?

      Answer: Mike Nichols.

      Wednesday, January 23

      The Russian film maker Sergei Eisenstein was born on this date in 1898 and lived only until the age of 50. Classical music lovers are familiar with Prokofiev's score for Eisenstein's epic film Alexander Nevsky. Prokofiev also wrote the score for an unfinished trilogy of films by Eisenstein about another figure of Russian history. Who was the subject of the film left unfinished at Eisenstein's death?

      Answer: Ivan the Terrible.

      Tuesday, January 22

      The great American baritone William Warfield was born on this date in 1920 in Arkansas, but grew up in Rochester, NY where his father was a minister. After a long, successful career as a singer, Mr. Warfield turned to teaching in the last decades of his life. At what two institutions of higher learning in Illinois did Mr. Warfield teach?

      Answer: University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana beginning in 1975; then Northwestern University, Evanston beginning in 1994.

      Monday, January 21

      Tenor Placido Domingo was born on this date in 1941— he's 72 today. One of his best-remembered Chicago performances came during Lyric Opera's Ring cycle in 2005. At the age of 64 (!) he sang the role of Siegmund in Act I of Die Walkure. Who sang Sieglinde?

      Answer: Michelle De Young.

      Friday, January 18

      The French composer Emmanuel Chabrier was born on this date in 1841. Probably his best-known work is the Espana Rhapsody. Emile Waldteufel made a version of Chabrier's piece, the Espana Waltz. And there was also a popular song of the 1950s based on the same tune. What was the name of the song?

      Answer: Hot Diggety-Dog-Ziggety Boom, What You Do to Me.

      Thursday, January 17

      Benjamin Franklin was born on this date in 1706. One of the founding fathers of our country, Franklin was an author, printer, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, statesman, and diplomat—among other things! Franklin is credited with the invention of a musical instrument. What is it?

      Answer: The “Glass Armonica” which uses a series of glass bowls of graduated size to produce musical tones.

      Wednesday, January 16

      The great American singer Marilyn Horne was born on this date in 1934—she's 79 today. She began singing professionally with the Roger Wagner Chorale as a teenager. And she made her movie debut—or, at least, her voice did—at the age of 20. She provided Dorothy Dandridge’s singing voice for a 1954 film starring Dandridge, Harry Belafonte, and Pearl Bailey. What was the film?

      Answer: Carmen Jones—which updated Bizet's Carmen to America of the 1940s.

      Tuesday, January 15

      One encyclopedia entry describes this composition as "Ravel's most straightforward composition in any medium. The music is in C major, 3/4 time, beginning pianissimo and rising in a continuous crescendo to 'fortissimo possibile' (as loud as possible). It is built over an unchanging ostinato rhythm played on one or more snare drums that remains constant throughout the piece." What is this composition?

      Answer: Bolero.

      Monday, January 14

      Today is the anniversary of the first performance of Puccini's opera "Tosca." It took place January 14, 1900 in Rome, which is also the setting for the story. The plot revolves around a classic love triangle involving Floria Tosca; Mario Cavaradossi, the painter; and Baron Scarpia, the evil Chief of Police. What is Floria Tosca's occupation?

      Answer: An opera singer.

      Friday, January 11

      The Russian composer Reinhold Gliere was born in Kiev on this date in 1875. He studied at the Kiev School of Music before transferring to the Moscow Conservatory where his teachers included Taneyev, Arensky, and Ippolitov-Ivanov. He later became a professor at the Moscow Conservatory. His best-remembered work is a dance from a ballet he first composed in 1927 and then revised twice. Name the dance AND the ballet.

      Answer: Russian Sailors Dance from The Red Poppy ballet.

      Thursday, January 10

      Conductor and composer Jean Martinon was born in on this date in Lyon, France in 1910. As a student at the Paris Conservatory he studied composition with Albert Roussel, conducting with Charles Munch, and harmony with Vincent d'Indy. Jean Martinon was also the eighth Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Who preceded and succeeded Martinon as CSO Music Director?

      Answer: Fritz Reiner and Sir Georg Solti.

      Wednesday, January 9

      Sir Rudolf Bing, General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera from 1950-1972, was born on today's date in 1902 in Vienna. The stories of his life in the opera world are contained in his two books: 5,000 Nights at the Opera and A Knight at the Opera. In one famous tale, a prominent Wagnerian soprano tried to claim Rudolf Bing as a dependent on her tax forms! Who was this soprano?

      Answer: Birgit Nilsson.

      Tuesday, January 8

      The Czech-born composer Jaromir Weinberger was born on this date in 1897 in Prague. In 1937 he fled his native country to avoid the Nazis and settled in New York. Weinberger composed more than 100 works, including operas, operettas, choral works, and works for orchestra. However, the only one which is still remembered is an opera about a bagpiper. What is the name of the bagpiper--and the name of the opera?

      Answer: Schwanda the Bagpiper.

      Monday, January 7

      The French composer Francis Poulenc was born on this date in 1899. He composed for solo piano, chamber ensemble, choir, ballet, orchestra, and opera. He was also a member of the group Les Six. Following a life-changing spiritual experience in 1936, Poulenc wrote a great deal of music based on religious themes...including his 1957 opera about nuns sentenced to the guillotine during the French Revolution. What is the name of the opera?

      Answer: The Dialogues of the Carmelites.

      Friday, January 4

      It was on this date in 1881 that the Academic Festival Overture by Brahms had its first performance. Rather than give a speech, Brahms composed the potpourri of student tunes and drinking songs in response to an honorary doctorate conferred on him. What university honored Brahms with the degree?

      Answer: University of Breslau (now Wroclaw in Poland), Germany.

      Thursday, January 3

      Gaetano Donizetti's opera buffa Don Pasquale had its premiere on this date in 1843. The first performance took place at the Italian Theatre in Paris. In the recent Lyric Opera production of Don Pasquale, who sang the title role?

      Answer: Ildebrando D'Arcangelo.

      Wednesday, January 2

      As we begin the Wagner Bicentenary year, we have a question about an early Wagner opera. Wagner wrote the libretto and the music and conducted the first performance on this date 170 years ago (1843) at the Semper Oper in Dresden. In his autobiography, Wagner said he was inspired by a stormy sea crossing he made from Riga to London—and the sounds of a stormy ocean are depicted in the opening bars of the overture. What is this opera by Wagner?

      Answer: The Flying Dutchman.

      Tuesday, January 1

      Happy New Year! A new round of quiz questions begins Wednesday, January 2.

      Monday, December 31

      On this last day of the year, we consider the poem Auld Lang Syne. The Scottish title translates literally as "old long since" or, better, as "long ago" or "days gone by." It's traditionally sung—to an old Scots tune—at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve to mark the passing of another year. Who wrote the lyrics of Auld Lang Syne?

      Answer: Robert Burns.

      Friday, December 28

      Benjamin Britten's opera Billy Budd has an all-male cast. What opera by Puccini has an all-female cast?

      Answer: Suor Angelica, one of the three operas of Il Trittico.

      Thursday, December 27

      The Broadway musical Showboat opened on this date in 1927 at the Ziegfield Theatre in New York. The musical was based on Edna Ferber's bestselling novel of the same name. Jerome Kern wrote the music; who wrote the lyrics?

      Answer: Oscar Hammerstein II.

      Wednesday, December 26

      Ludwig van Beethoven wrote a compositionn n titled "Piano Sonata in c# minor, Op.27 #2—Sonata quasi una fantasia." It's better known by what title?

      Answer: Moonlight Sonata.

      Friday, December 21

      The winter solstice occurred at 5:12 this morning. We’ve been marking the coming of winter with music about the season including Vivaldi’s The Four Seasonsearlier this hour. There are several other compositions about the seasons—including concertos, ballets, arias, songs, and an oratorio. There is also an American pop group called The Four Seasons...and a hotel chain...and an Academy Award-winning movie. Who wrote and directed the 1981 film, The Four Seasons?

      Answer: Alan Alda

      Thursday, December 20

      The play Rosamunde, Princess of Cyprus by Helmina von Chezy had its first performance on this date in 1823 at Vienna’s Theater an der Wien. The play was a failure and is permanently lost. But the incidental music by Franz Schubert endures. In writing the music, Schubert borrowed the overture from his own unsuccessful opera. What is the name of the opera?

      Answer: The Magic Harp

      Wednesday, December 19

      The former music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Fritz Reiner, was born on this date in 1888 in Budapest. In addition to his ten golden years inChicago, Reiner also conducted at the Metropolitan Opera and taught at the Curtis Institute. Between 1922 and 1948, he was also the Principal Conductor or Music Director of two other American orchestras. Name them both.

      Answer: Cincinnati SO (1922-1931) and Pittsburgh SO (1938-1948)

      Tuesday, December 18

      Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker had its premiere on this date in 1892—120 years ago. The first performance was at the Mariinski Theatre in St. Petersburg. It is often noted that the score includes a celesta in the orchestra. Actually, Tchaikovsky had used the celesta in his symphonic poem The Voyevoda even earlier. What character is depicted by the celesta?

      Answer: The Sugar Plum Fairy

      Monday, December 17

      Yesterday was the 242nd anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven. Beethoven is generally credited with being the central figure in the transition from the Classical to the Romantic era. When LvB was in his early 20s he moved to Vienna and stayed there for the rest of his life. Where was Beethoven born in 1770?

      Answer: Bonn, Germany

      Friday, December 14

      Who am I? I was born on this date 101 years ago. My first job as a professional musician was as a percussionist. I later formed my own band and orchestra. I had my own radio show in the 1940s and later appeared on television and in films. I may be remembered for murdering the classics, but I always acknowledged the applause with the phrase "Thank you, music lovers!" Who am I?

      Answer: Lindley Armstrong "Spike" Jones.

      Thursday, December 13

      Today is WFMT’s birthday. It was 61 years ago today that we first went on the airwaves. Most of the great names in WFMT history joined the station during its first few years: Norm Pellegrini, Studs Terkel, Ray Nordstrand, and so many more. What was the name of the couple that founded WFMT?

      Answer: Bernie and Rita Jacobs.

      Wednesday, December 12

      Today's quiz will be a "name-that-singer" edition...

      Answer: Frank Sinatra

      Tuesday, December 11

      Today is the birthday of the French composer Hector Berlioz, born in 1803. A full-fledged Romantic, and a man ahead of his time, Berlioz is best-remembered for his Symphonie Fantastique, his Requiem, The Damnation of Faust, and his song cycle Les Nuits d’Ete (Summer Nights). A few weeks ago, Les Nuits d’Ete was on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra programs. Who was the soloist?

      Answer: Mezzo-soprano Alice Coote

      Monday, December 10

      The American poet Emily Dickinson was born on this date in 1830 in Amherst, Massachusetts. Introverted and reclusive, most of her relationships were via correspondence. Of the 1,800 poems she wrote, fewer than a dozen were published during her lifetime. Aaron Copland set several Emily Dickinson poems to music including "Why do they shut me out of heaven?" In the second line of that poem, the author gives a possible reason for being shut out. What is it?

      Answer: Did I sing too loud?

      Friday, December 7

      America's oldest orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, gave its first performance on this date in 1842— 170 years ago today. The program included Beethoven's 5th Symphony, some chamber music, and several operatic excerpts. Who is the current music director of the New York Philharmonic?

      Answer: Alan Gilbert.

      Thursday, December 6

      Walt Disney was born in Chicago on yesterday's date, December 5, in 1901. One of the great leaps forward in the history of animation was Disney's Fantasia, released in 1940. Seven of the eight segments of Fantasia feature animated stories set to classical music by Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Stravinsky, Ponchieli, Dukas, Mussorgsky, and Schubert. But one of the segments blended live shots of the orchestra with animated lines, shapes, and patterns that interpreted what piece of music by what composer?

      Answer: Bach's Toccata and Fugue in d minor.

      Wednesday, December 5

      Today is the 221st anniversary of the death of Mozart. He died just 9 weeks after the premiere of the last opera he completed, The Magic Flute. While he was composing Magic Flute, he received a commission for an opera to celebrate the coronation of Leopold II as King of Bohemia. Mozart dashed off this new opera in a very short time, and the premiere took place in September of 1791—3 weeks before the premiere of Magic Flute. What is this opera?

      Answer: La Clemenza di Tito.

      Tuesday, December 4

      A famous composition had its premiere on this date in 1881. In describing the finale, the critic Eduard Hanslick wrote: "We see wild and vulgar faces, we hear curses, we smell bad brandy. [This composition...] brings to us for the first time the horrid idea that there may be music that stinks to the ear." What was the composition?

      Answer: Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto.

      Monday, December 3

      Lerner and Loewe’s classic Broadway musical Camelot opened on Broadway on this date in 1960. It quickly became a favorite of many—including President-elect John F. Kennedy. The original Broadway cast featured a Welsh actor, a Canadian singer, and an English actress-singer. Name all three.

      Answer: Richard Burton, Robert Goulet, Julie Andrews.

      Friday, November 30

      Today is the birthday of American author and humorist Samuel Langhorne Clemens—better known as Mark Twain—born on this date in 1835 in the town of Florida, Missouri. Huckleberry Finn, the title character from Twain's great American novel, is also the title of a movement from a suite for symphony orchestra. Name the work and the composer.

      Answer: Mississippi Suite by Ferde Grofe.

      Thursday, November 29

      Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti was born on this date in 1797. Although he lived only until the age of 50, he composed more than 70 operas including The Elixir of Love, The Daughter of the Regiment, and Lucia di Lammermoor. What Donizetti opera is currently playing at Lyric Opera of Chicago?

      Answer: Don Pasquale.

      Wednesday, November 28

      Today is the birthday of French composer Jean-Baptiste Lully—born in Italy as Giovanni Battista Lulli on this date in 1632. He spent most of his career working in the Court of Louis XIV of France. How did Jean-Baptiste Lully die?

      Answer: While leading a concert by pounding his staff on the floor to keep time, he struck his own toe which became infected and, eventually, gangrenous. He refused amputation, the gangrene spread, and he died at the age of 54.

      Tuesday, November 27

      He said it! He said, "The English may not like music, but they absolutely love the noise it makes." He also said, "Brass bands are all very well in their place—outdoors and several miles away." Also, "A musicologist is a man who can read music but can't hear it." Who said it?

      Answer: English conductor and wit Sir Thomas Beecham

      Monday, November 26

      American composer and critic Virgil Thomson was born on yesterday’s date—November 25, 1896 in Kansas City, Missouri. He lived in Paris from 1925-1940 where his acquaintances included James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, e.e. cummings, Aaron Copland, Igor Stravinsky, Pablo Picasso, Orson Welles, Jean Cocteau, and Gertrude Stein. Thomson later wrote two operas with Gertrude Stein. Name either one.

      Answer: Four Saints in Three Acts or The Mother of Us All

      Friday, November 24

      The Spanish composer Manuel de Falla was born on this date in 1876. One of his most familiar compositions is known as the Ritual Fire Dance. What is the title of the larger work which includes the Ritual Fire Dance? (in Spanish or in English)

      Answer: El Amor Brujo—Love, the Sorcerer (or Magician)

      Thursday, November 23

      Happy Thanksgiving!

      Wednesday, November 22

      It was originally composed as a ballet, commissioned by the Russian dancer Ida Rubenstein. It was first performed on tomorrow’s date in 1928 at the Paris Opera. Its composer once called it, "a piece for orchestra without music." What is this composition?

      Answer: Maurice Ravel's Bolero

      Tuesday, November 21

      Ludwig van Beethoven’s only opera had its very first performance on this date in 1805 in Vienna. By the time of the first performance, Beethoven was titling the opera Fidelio, although he had originally planned to call it Leonore. In the opera, Leonore, disguised as a man known as Fidelio, rescues her husband from death in a prison. What is the husband's name?

      Answer: Florestan

      Tuesday, November 20

      Ludwig van Beethoven’s only opera had its very first performance on this date in 1805 in Vienna. By the time of the first performance, Beethoven was titling the opera Fidelio, although he had originally planned to call it Leonore. In the opera, Leonore, disguised as a man known as Fidelio, rescues her husband from death in a prison. What is the husband's name?

      Answer: Florestan

      Monday, November 19

      The andante movement from Mozart's Piano Concerto #21 in C, K.467 gained worldwide popularity when it was used as the theme of a 1967 Swedish film. What was the name of the film?

      Answer: Elvira Madigan

      Wednesday, October 31

      Witches and goblins and ghosts...oh my! We've had music about all of them this morning. What is the name of the witch from Russian folklore—mentioned in a composition by Liadov and in Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition?"

      Answer: Baba Yaga

      Tuesday, October 30

      Aaron Copland’s ballet “Appalachian Spring” had its premiere on this date in 1944. Written for Martha Graham — and subtitled "Ballet for Martha" — the original scoring of "Appalachian Spring" was for just 13 instruments due to the cramped conditions at the site where the premiere took place. Where was "Appalachian Spring" first performed, 68 years ago today?

      Answer: The Library of Congress in Washington D.C.

      Monday, October 29

      Yesterday was the birthday of American composer Howard Hanson—born in 1897. His Symphony #2, the "Romantic," is his best-known. His Symphony #4, the "Requiem," won a Pulitzer Prize. For 40 years, he was the Director of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. But he began his career as a teaching assistant at his alma mater. Where did Howard Hanson attend college?

      Answer: Northwestern University.

      Friday, October 26

      Today is the birthday of Domenico Scarlatti, born in Naples in 1685— the same year as Bach and Handel. He is best-remembered for his more than 500 keyboard sonatas. The name of an American harpsichordist, who published a biography of Scarlatti and a critical edition of his works, is often used to designate and differentiate among the 500+ sonatas much like Köchel numbers for Mozart's works. Who was this keyboard player and scholar?

      Answer: Ralph Kirkpatrick.

      Thursday, October 25

      Today we celebrate two musical birthdays—Johann Strauss Jr. in 1825 and Georges Bizet in 1838. Johann Jr. took over his father’s business as orchestra leader and composer after father’s death. When Johann Jr. died in 1899, he was buried in Vienna’s Zentralfriedhof. But the famous golden statue of Johann Jr. is in Vienna’s Stadtpark. That statue depicts Strauss doing what?

      Answer: Playing the violin.

      Wednesday, October 24

      Actor F.Murray Abraham was born on this date in 1939. He won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Antonio Salieri in the 1984 film Amadeus; Thomas Hulce played the role of the young Mozart. In what film did Thomas Hulce play the role of "Pinto?"

      Answer: National Lampoon's Animal House

      Tuesday, October 23

      Yesterday was Franz Liszt’s birthday—his 201st. Liszt had connections to so many other famous musicians. As a boy he knew Haydn, Hummel, and Beethoven. Later in Vienna, he took piano lessons from Czerny and composition lessons from Salieri. As a young man he met Berlioz—the day before the premiere of the Symphonie Fantastique. He also heard Paganini play and became friends with Chopin and St. Saens. What famous composer became Franz Liszt's son-in-law?

      Answer: Richard Wagner

      Monday, October 22

      Yesterday was the 100th birthday of Sir Georg Solti and we're still celebrating today. Music Director of the CSO from 1969-1991, Solti made his debut at the Budapest Opera March 11, 1938 but it was also his last performance there. That very day, Hitler annexed Austria and anti-Semitism overtook Hungary. Solti's career received a boost when he worked as rehearsal pianist and coach at the Salzburg Festival for a very famous conductor. Who was it?

      Answer: Arturo Toscanini

      Friday, October 19

      One of the great composers in music history was also acclaimed for his keyboard artistry. His reply to the praise was this: "There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." Who said it?

      Answer: Johann Sebastian Bach.

      Thursday, October 18

      Music critics have written many unflattering reviews over the years—some instructive, some scathing, some pointed. But one of the best responses to a critic was the following: "What you have said hurt me very much. I cried all the way to the bank." Who said it?

      Answer: Wladziu Valentino Liberace.

      Wednesday, October 17

      Pianist Stephen Kovacevich was born on this date in 1940 in California; he's 72 today. He made his debut at the age of 11. At the age of 18 he moved to London to study with Dame Myra Hess and he has lived in England ever since. Mr. Kovacevich's name is Croatian. But earlier in his career he took his mother’s last name as his professional name. By what name was he originally known?

      Answer: Stephen Bishop...then Bishop-Kovacevich.

      Tuesday, October 16

      The Chicago Symphony Orchestra played its very first concert on this date in 1891. The concert included music by Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, and Dvorak. Where did this concert take place?

      Answer: The Auditorium Theater. Orchestra Hall was built in 1904.

      Monday, October 15

      Who am I? I was born on yesterday's date in 1928 in New York. I began piano at the age of 3 and entered the Curtis Institute at age 7. I made my professional debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra when I was 19. I then studied with Vladimir Horowitz and Rudolf Serkin. In 1980, I joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute and served as its president for 11 years. My memoir is titled I Really Should Be Practicing. Who am I?

      Answer: Pianist Gary Graffman

      Friday, October 12

      Today is the 140th birthday of Ralph Vaughan Williams. When he was editing The English Hymnal, he came across a very early English tune in the 1567 Psalter. He included it in the new hymnal and wrote a piece for double string orchestra based on the hymn tune. What was this 1910 composition by Vaughan Williams?

      Answer: Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis

      Thursday, October 11

      Today is the birthday of Theodore Thomas—founder and first director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra—born in 1835. Twenty years before the founding of the CSO, the Theodore Thomas Orchestra was scheduled to play in Chicago—a concert cancelled by the Chicago Fire. In 1889 a Chicago businessman asked Thomas, "Would you come to Chicago if we gave you a permanent orchestra?" What was Thomas' legendary reply? A paraphrase will do.

      Answer: "I would go to Hell if they gave me a permanent orchestra!"

      Wednesday, October 10

      Giuseppe Verdi was born on this date, 199 years ago. Let the Bicentenary celebration begin! Early in his career, Verdi made an operatic setting of Macbeth by Shakespeare—his favorite writer. Late in his career, Verdi wrote two more operas based on The Bard. Name Verdi's other two Shakespeare operas?

      Answer: Otello and Falstaff.

      Tuesday, October 9

      French composer Camille St. Saens was born in Paris on this date in 1835 and lived all the way to 1921. He was also a conductor, an organist , and a pianist. And he also studied geology, archaeology, and botany. A child prodigy at the keyboard, he learned to read and write at the age of 3 and played a recital at the age of 5! He is best-known for his opera Samson & Delilah, the Carnival of the Animals, Danse Macabre, two piano concertos and three symphonies. What is the nickname of his 3rd symphony?

      Answer: The Organ Symphony.

      Monday, October 8

      The Colonial composer William Billings was born on yesterday's date in 1746 in Boston. Originally a tanner by trade and without formal music training, Billings became known as the Father of American Choral Music. Three of his compositions were orchestrated and made into a suite by a 20th century American composer. Who is the composer and what is the work?

      Answer: Willam Schumann--New England Triptych.

      Friday, October 5

      Today is the anniversary of the debut of the BBC television series "Monty Python’s Flying Circus" — October 5, 1969. What piece of American music served as the theme song for Monty Python?

      Answer: The Liberty Bell March by John Philip Sousa.

      Thursday, October 4

      Today, a short Shakespearean musical question—or perhaps a short musical Shakespeare question. What character in what play speaks the famous line, "If music be the food of love, play on."?

      Answer: Orsino in Twelfth Night.

      Wednesday, October 3

      Who am I? One of my piano sonatas includes a famous funeral march. But on my deathbed, I am supposed to have said, "Play Mozart in memory of me." At my funeral in 1849, a congregation of 3,000 gathered at the church of the Madeleine in Paris. The service included Mozart's Requiem. Who am I?

      Answer: Frederic Chopin.

      Tuesday, October 2

      Sunday was the anniversary of the first performance of Mozart's final opera, The Magic Flute, first performed about six weeks before Mozart's death in 1791. However, there is another opera by Mozart that has a Kochel number "higher" than Magic Flute? What is Mozart's opera K.621?

      Answer: La Clemenza di Tito. In August 1791, Mozart was commissioned to write an opera celebrating the coronation of Emperor Leopold II as King of Bohemia in Prague. He paused during the writing of Magic Flute and dashed off Clemenza in just 18 days.

      Monday, October 1

      Who am I? I was born on this date in 1865 in Paris. In addition to being a composer, I was a prolific music critic, and I also taught at the Paris Conservatory where my students included Carlos Chavez, Jean Langlais, Olivier Messiaen, and Joaquin Rodrigo. I am best remembered for one famous orchestral poem. But I also wrote an opera about Bluebeard the pirate, and a ballet titled La Peri. Who am I?

      Answer: Paul Dukas.

      Friday, September 28

      Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat (The Soldier’s Tale) had its premiere on this date in 1918 in Switzerland. The Soldier’s Tale is a theatrical work "...to be read, played, and danced" as Stravinsky put it. It tells the classic tale of a man selling his soul to the devil. But in Soldier’s Tale, the man’s soul is represented by something else. What does the soldier sell to the devil?

      Answer: His violin.

      Thursday, September 27

      Yesterday was filled with musical birthdays and anniversaries—today, not so much. Donizetti's opera Lucia di Lammermoor had its world premiere on yesterday's date in 1835 at Teatro San Carlo in Naples. Lucia was on last year's Lyric Opera of Chicago schedule. Who sang the title role at Lyric?

      Answer: Susanna Phillips, a Ryan Center alum, who will be singing in MOB’s Lord Nelson Mass the first weekend in October.

      Wednesday, September 26

      Who am I? I was born on today's date in 1930. Today would have been my 82nd birthday, but I died in 1966. My father was a choirmaster and I studied voice and french horn. I first became famous for singing Mozart roles, but later I sang Schubert, Schumann, even Verdi and Wagner. I died in an accident at the age of 35 but left a wealth of recordings. Who am I?

      Answer: Tenor Fritz Wunderlich.

      Tuesday, September 25

      Pianist Glenn Gould was born 80 years ago today, in 1932. He passed away at the age of 50 in 1982. Brilliant and eccentric, Gould specialized in playing and recording music of J.S. Bach. He was also a writer, composer, conductor, and broadcaster. At age 31, he gave up public performances to concentrate on recordings. But earlier, when he was once a soloist with a major symphony orchestra and conductor, the conductor so disagreed with Gould’s interpretation of a concerto that he issued a spoken disclaimer before the performance. Who was the conductor?

      Answer: Leonard Bernstein, with the NY Philharmonic, before a performance of Brahms' Piano Concerto #1.

      Monday, September 24

      Today is the birthday of English composer and conductor, John Rutter, born in London in 1945. He was Director of Music at Clare College from 1975-1979 and founded the Cambridge Singers in 1981. A profile on NBC’s Today show called him “the greatest living composer and conductor of choral music.” One of his earliest Christmas carols begins with the words "Going through the hills on a night all starry. On the way to Bethlehem." What is the name of this Rutter composition?

      Answer: Shepherd's Pipe Carol.

      Friday, September 21

      Today is the birthday of the English composer Gustav Holst, born in 1974. Of Swedish extraction, Gustavus Theodor von Holst dropped the “von” from his name during WWI. He attended the new Royal College of Music in London, studying with Sir Charles Stanford. A classmate was Ralph Vaughan Williams who became a lifelong friend. For almost 30 years, he was the Music Master at the St. Paul's Girls School in London. He wrote two pieces in honor of the school: the St. Paul's Suite and ________? What was the other?

      Answer: Brook Green Suite.

      Thursday, September 20

      Antonio Vivaldi wrote more than 600 concertos for various instruments. His 12 concertos, Op.8, are titled The Contest between Harmony and Invention. The first 4 of those concertos are known by another name? What is that title?

      Answer: The Four Seasons.

      Wednesday, September 19

      What do these pieces of music have in common? Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto #3; Glazunov’s Triumphal March; Stravinsky’s Symphony in C; Walton's Scapino Overture; and Prokofiev’s opera The Love for Three Oranges?

      Answer: They all had their world premieres in Chicago!

      Tuesday, September 18

      A Gilbert & Sullivan question today. At the conclusion of H.M.S. Pinafore, when all the true identities have been revealed, Ralph Rackstraw marries Josephine, the daughter of his former captain. Who does the Captain marry?

      Answer: Little Buttercup.

      Monday, September 17

      Yesterday was the 46th anniversary of the opening of the new Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center, NY. On that night, Thomas Schippers conducted and Leontyne Price and Justino Diaz starred in the title roles of a new opera written for the occasion. Name the opera and the composer.

      Answer: Antony and Cleopatra by Samuel Barber.

      Friday, September 14

      Tonight, WTTW Channel 11 concludes "Ring Week" with the final music drama of Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle, Die Gotterdammerung. In the final scene of the opera, the Rhinemaidens reclaim the ring of gold. What characters tries to stop them and drowns?

      Answer: Hagen.

      Thursday, September 13

      Tonight, WTTW Channel 11 continues "Ring Week" with the third music drama of Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle, Siegfried. In Act II, Siegfried slays the dragon that guards the ring of gold. What is the name of Siegfried's sword?

      Answer: Nothung.

      Wednesday, September 12

      Tonight, WTTW Channel 11 continues "Ring Week" with the second music drama of Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle, Die Walkure. In the Met production being seen this week, who sings the role of Brunnhilde, favorite daughter of Wotan?

      Answer: Deborah Voigt.

      Tuesday, September 11

      Tonight, WTTW Channel 11 continues "Ring Week" with the first music drama of Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle, Das Rheingold. When the cycle begins, who is in possession of the golden ring...and who steals it?

      Answer: The Rhinemaidens have the ring and Alberich, the dwarf steals it.

      Monday, September 10

      Tonight, WTTW Channel 11 begins "Ring Week" — devoted to broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera's new production of Wagner's Ring Cycle. Tonight, the introductory documentary film, Wagner's Dream. And then, Tuesday thru Friday: the four music dramas of The Ring. Where (in what city) did Wagner's Ring Cycle have its first complete performance?

      Answer: In Bayreuth, in the newly-constructed Festspielhaus, in 1876

      Friday, September 07

      Who am I? I was born on this date in 1887. I wrote the words—which you're not hearing—that goes with this music. Who am I?

      Answer: Dame Edith Sitwell...music by William Walton

      Thursday, September 06

      Fifteen years ago today, September 6, 1997, millions of people around the world watched the funeral of Britain’s Princess Diana from Westminster Abbey. But that morning’s newspapers were filled with news of the passing of two other world-famous figures the day before, September 5. One was Mother Theresa...who was the other?

      Answer: Sir Georg Solti

      Wednesday, September 05

      Johann Christian Bach, the youngest son of Johann Sebastian and Anna Magdalena Bach, was born on this date in 1735. His early musical training came from his father, and then his older brother, C.P.E. Bach. JC Bach also studied and lived in Italy for many years and became the organist of the Milan Cathedral. Later he moved to another musical capitol and remained there for the rest of his life. What country became the adopted home of Bach's youngest son?

      Answer: England

      Tuesday, September 04

      Austrian composer Anton Bruckner was born on this date in 1824. Best remembered for his symphonies and his choral music, Bruckner was a shy, retiring, and devout man. He was happiest in the years he was a teacher and organist at the same abbey where he had been a choirboy and where he is now buried. What is the name of this abbey?

      Answer: St. Florian's in Sankt Florian, Austria

      Friday, August 31

      Today is Itzhak Perlman's 67th birthday. After studying in Tel Aviv, he came to New York at the age of 12 to enroll at the Juilliard School. Known as a violinist, conductor, and teacher, Mr. Perlman once appeared in a 1980 "Live from Lincoln Center" telecast with Luciano Pavarotti and Zubin Mehta. In what role did he appear in that telecast?

      Answer: He sang the role of the jailer in a performance of Puccini's Tosca. He also recorded the role in 1981

      Thursday, August 30

      The Italian composer Amilcare Ponchielli was born on tomorrow’s date in 1834. An orchestral excerpt from one of his operas had found fame in several pop culture usages—from animated dancing hippos to Spike Jones to a novelty song which was a big hit in the 1960s. Name the excerpt and the opera.

      Answer: The Dance of the Hours from La Gioconda

      Wednesday, August 29

      Who are we? We are three different women but we all have the same name. One of us is an Irish-born mezzo-soprano whose career was centered at the Royal Opera in London. One of us is a Canadian pop music star with more than 50 million records sold. And one of us is the Scottish-born Executive Director of Chicago's International Music Foundation which presents the Dame Myra Hess Concerts and the Do It Yourself Messiah. Who are we?

      Answer: Ann Murray

      Tuesday, August 28

      Who am I? I was born 99 years ago today. I made my Met debut in 1945 in La Gioconda and was one of the leading tenors at the Met for 30 years. Time magazine once called me "the world's greatest Italian tenor." And I'm the only person whose funeral was held on the stage at the Met. Who am I?

      Answer: Richard Tucker

      Monday, August 27

      On yesterday's date in 1927, the John Philip Sousa Band came to Chicago to play for the dedication of a new attraction near the lakefront. This site is still one of Chicago's most popular sites. What was dedicated 85 years ago yesterday?

      Answer: Buckingham Fountain

      Friday, August 24

      Leon Theremin was born on this date in 1896. He was a Russian inventor most famous for the electronic instrument named after him. He played the instrument on a New York Philharmonic concert in 1928. Shostakovich was the first to use the Theremin in a film score, but perhaps the most famous use of that eerie-sounding instrument was in the film Spellbound. Who wrote the score for the film Spellbound?

      Answer: Miklos Rozsa

      Thursday, August 23

      Another question about Claude Debussy today. One of his piano preludes, La Cathedrale Engloutie (The Engulfed Cathedral) references a Breton legend about a land that would rise and fall from the sea. This land is also referenced in an opera by Edouard Lalo. What is the name of this imaginary place?

      Answer: Ys...referred to in the opera Le Roi d’Ys

      Wednesday, August 22

      Today is the 150th birthday of the French composer Claude Debussy—born in St.-Germain-en-Laye in 1862. One of his most famous compostitions, The Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun was inspired by a poem of the same name. Who wrote the poem?

      Answer: Stephane Mallarme

      Tuesday, August 21

      Who am I? I was born on this date in 1893. My mother was a Russian princess who married her teacher at the Paris Conservatory; he was 77 when I was born. Our family friend Gabriel Faure discovered that I had perfect pitch when I was 2. I won the Prix de Rome at the age of 19 but my career was cut short by what is now known as Crohn’s Disease. I died at the age of 24 and was buried at the Montmartre Cemetery. My sister lived for another 61 years before she was buried next to me. Who am I?

      Answer: Lili Boulanger

      Monday, August 20

      This piece of music had its first performance on this date in 1882 at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. It was written to commemorate the victory of Russian forces over the invading army of Napoleon. The composer said it would be "...very loud and noisy, but [without] artistic merit, because I wrote it without warmth and without love." What is this composition?

      Answer: Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture"

      Friday, August 17

      The final movement of Beethoven's Symphony #3, the Eroica, (composed in 1804) is a theme and variations. The theme that Beethoven used first appeared in a ballet with music by Beethoven (composed in 1801) about an important figure in Greek mythology. What is this ballet?

      Answer: The Creatures of Prometheus.

      Thursday, August 16

      The 1936 Olympic Games opened on this date in Berlin. Those games are best-remembered for the achievements of American athlete Jesse Owens. He won four gold medals: 100 meters, 200 meters, 4 x 100 relay, and the long jump. Who wrote the Olympic Hymn for the Berlin Olympics?

      Answer: Richard Strauss.

      Wednesday, August 15

      The French composer Jacques Ibert was born on this date in 1890 in Paris. Ibert composed operas, ballets, songs, choral works, chamber music, and incidental music for plays. Perhaps his best-known work is his musical travelogue titled Escales—Ports of Call. It begins with descriptions of Rome and Palermo and concludes with a visit to Valencia. In between it depicts music from Tunisia on the northern coast of Africa. What instrument is used to depict the music of this exotic locale?

      Answer: The oboe.

      Tuesday, August 14

      Yesterday was the anniversary of the opening of the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, Richard Wagner's own personal opera house. It was inaugurated with the first complete performance of the Ring Cycle in 1876. (WTTW Channel 11 will be broadcasting the Metropolitan Opera's new Ring Cycle in September.) What is the first opera—the opening drama—of Wagner's Ring Cycle?

      Answer: Das Rheingold.

      Monday, August 13

      Today is the birthday of the great film director Alfred Hitchcock—born in London in 1899. The magazine MovieMaker described him as the most influential filmmaker of all-time and he is widely regarded as one of cinema's most significant artists. In a recent poll conducted by the British Film Institute, a Hitchcock film displaced "Citizen Kane" as the greatest movie of all time. What movie took the top spot?

      Answer: "Vertigo" (1958) starring Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak, with music by Bernard Herrmann.

      Friday, August 10

      Today is the anniversary of the founding of the Proms Concerts in London. The first concert took place on August 10, 1895 in Queens Hall. Now held in Royal Albert Hall, the series of 70 concerts now bears the name of the man who conducted the very first concert on this date in 1895. Who is he?

      Answer: Sir Henry Wood

      Thursday, August 9

      The French composer Reynaldo Hahn was born on this date—in Venezuela!—in 1874. A composer at age 8, he entered the Paris Conservatory at age 10. As a conductor specializing in Mozart, he led the first performances at the Salzburg Festival after WWI. The widow of a famous French composer gave Reynaldo Hahn the score of her husband's unperformed symphony which was then placed in the Paris Conservatory Library—and not discovered there until 1933. Whose symphony was given to Hahn?

      Answer: Bizet's Symphony in C

      Wednesday, August 8

      Act II of Johann Strauss's operetta "Die Fledermaus" contains a party scene which is sometimes filled with gala performances functioning as entertainment at the party. In the operetta, who is throwing the party or ball?

      Answer: Prince Orlofsky

      Tuesday, August 7

      Here’s an English folk song we should have sung—or played on the radio—on Sunday. "It was on the 5th of August / Er the weather fine and fair / Unto [blank] I did repair / For love I was inclined." Fill in the blank. Wither did he repair?

      Answer: Brigg Fair

      Monday, August 6

      Who am I? I was born on this date in 1809 and I am the second most frequently quoted writer—after Shakespeare—in The Oxford Book of Quotations, including "Tis better to have loved and lost / Than never to have loved at all"..."Theirs not to reason why / Theirs but to do and die”..."Knowledge comes but wisdom lingers"...and "The old order changeth, yielding place to new." Who am I?

      Answer: Alfred (Lord) Tennyson author of "Ring out," "Wild Bells," "The Charge of the Light Brigade," "Crossing the Bar," and "Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal"

      Friday, August 3

      Over the years, several authors have commented on the music of Richard Wagner. Oscar Wilde said, "I like Wagner's music better than anybody’s. It is so loud that one can talk the whole time." Mark Twain once said, "Wagner’s music is not as bad as it sounds!" Who said, "I can't listen to that much Wagner. I start getting the urge to conquer Poland."

      Answer: Woody Allen

      Thursday, August 2

      This week's "Who am I?" I was born on this date in 1891. I specialized in music for films and ballet as well as concert music. During WWII I became Director of Music for the BBC. I was knighted in 1950 and was appointed Master of the Queen's Music in 1953. One of my best known works is my Color Symphony—with each movement describing the qualities of a certain color. Who am I?

      Answer: Sir Arthur Bliss

      Wednesday, August 1

      Conductor William Steinberg was born on today’s date in 1899 in Cologne, Germany. A protege of Otto Klemperer, he became the first conductor of the Palestine Symphony Orchestra, now the Israel Philharmonic. Later an assistant to Arturo Toscanini, he held posts with the NBC Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. His longest tenure—1952-1976—was with what American orchestra?

      Answer: Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

      Tuesday, July 31

      Over the weekend was the birthday of operetta composer Sigmund Romberg, born in what is now Hungary in 1887. As a young man, he moved to the U.S. and got a job playing piano in cafes. Eventually he founded his own orchestra, and then went on to compose "The Student Prince," "The Desert Song," "Rosalie" (with George Gershwin), and "Up in Central Park." A 1954 movie starring Jose Ferrer is based on the life of Sigmund Romberg. What is this film?

      Answer: "Deep in My Heart"

      Monday, July 30

      Today is the birthday of the English pianist Gerald Moore, born in 1899. Moore is best-remembered as the world’s most famous accompanist—especially of singers. He played for Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, Victoria de los Angeles, Kathleen Ferrier, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, and many more. Also a lecturer and author, Gerald Moore wrote several books. The first was "The Unashamed Accompanist." What was the name of his 1962 memoir?

      Answer: "Am I Too Loud?—Memoirs of an Accompanist"

      Friday, July 27

      Tomorrow is the 71st birthday of the Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Riccardo Muti. One of the most honored and respected conductors in the world, Maestro Muti had never won a Grammy Award until 2011 when he was awarded two Grammys for a recording made with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. What was the work for which Maestro Muti won his first Grammys?

      Answer: "Verdi Requiem" on the CSO Resound label

      Thursday, July 26

      Another "who am I?" I was born on this date in 1856. I first gained fame as a music critic under the name "Corno di Bassetto." One of the best-known playwrights of the 20th century, I won the Nobel Prize for Literature. And, I remain the only person to win both an Oscar and a Nobel Prize. I also wrote a book about Richard Wagner. Who am I?

      Answer: George Bernard Shaw

      Wednesday, July 25

      Today is the 91st birthday of the legendary former principal trumpet player of the Chicago Symphony orchestra, Adolph “Bud” Herseth. Mr. Herseth played 1st trumpet in the CSO from 1948 until 2001. His tenure spanned the terms of six different CSO music directors. Which CSO music director hired Bud Herseth?

      Answer: Artur Rodzinski

      Tuesday, July 24

      Who am I? I am 65 years old today. When I was 11, I began studying at the Curtis Institute where my father was one of my teachers. My concert career began in 1959 when I played at the Marlboro Festival which was founded by my father, my grandfather, and my great uncle. I've played with all the great orchestras and musicians of the world, and I was one of the founding members of the group Tashi. Who am I?

      Answer: Pianist Peter Serkin

      Monday, July 23

      Soprano Licia Albanese turned 99 years old yesterday. In 1946, Arturo Toscanini chose her to sing the role of Mimi in the NBC broadcasts of "La Boheme." Those broadcasts marked the 50th anniversary of the world premiere of Boheme which was also conducted by Toscanini. Who sang Rodolfo in those 1946 performances?

      Answer: Tenor Jan Peerce

      Friday, July 20

      American astronaut Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon 43 years ago today—July 20, 1969. What French composer wrote an operetta titled "Le Voyage dans la Lune" (A Voyage to the Moon) ?

      Answer: Jacques Offenbach

      Thursday, July 19

      In 1920, a music critic dubbed half-a-dozen young avant-garde French composers as "Les Six." They were: Georges Auric, Louis Durey, Artur Honegger, Darius Milhaud, Francis Poulenc, and one female composer. Who was the feminine component of "Les Six?"

      Answer: Germaine Tailleferre

      Wednesday, July 18

      Yesterday was the birthday of composer, arranger, comedian, and erstwhile radio host, Peter Schickele. Although Mr. Schickele holds degrees from Swarthmore College and the Juilliard School, the music of his alter ego, P.D.Q. Bach, seems to have flourished at a fictitious college in middle America. What is the name of the academic center of PDQ Bach research? Full name required.

      Answer: The University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople

      Tuesday, July 17

      Today is the anniversary of the first performance of Handel's Water Music—a date easy to remember: 7-17-1717! The music was played by 50 musicians whose barge followed the King on the river Thames. The King liked the music so much that he requested that they play it three times over the course of the evening and early morning. What king was serenaded by Handel's music?

      Answer: King George I of England

      Monday, July 16

      Who am I? I was born on yesterday’s date in London, 79 years ago. After studying piano, cello, and composition at the Royal College of Music, I made my debut playing guitar in 1947. In addition to commissioning contemporary works for guitar, I have also tried to revitalize interest in music of the Elizabethan Era. I have won 4 Grammy Awards and I was knighted in 1985. Who am I?

      Answer: Julian Bream

      Friday, July 13

      Yesterday was the 78th birthday of pianist Van Cliburn. He was still studying at the Juilliard School when he won the very first Tchaikovsky International Competition in 1958, thus becoming an American hero of the Cold War era. The very next Tchaikovsky Competition in 1962 saw two pianists share the first prize—both of whom went on to major international careers. Name either one.

      Answer: Vladimir Ashkenazy or John Ogden

      Thursday, July 12

      The American librettist and producer, Oscar Hammerstein II was born on this date in 1895. Hammerstein co-wrote more than 800 songs—with Jerome Kern, Vincent Youmans, Sigmund Romberg, and with his most famous partner, Richard Rodgers. He won eight Tony awards and two Academy awards. In the 1940s, he became a surrogate father to a young man and helped develop his love for musical theater. This young man also went on to a successful career of writing for Broadway. Who was Oscar Hammerstein’s protege?

      Answer: Stephen Sondheim

      Wednesday, July 11

      Who am I? I was born on this date in 1927 in Springfield, Massachusetts. I studied conducting at the Juilliard School and at Tanglewood. I won the Koussevitsky Conducting Prize and the Salzburg Conducting Competition in the 1950s. I’ve been the music director of several major orchestras including the San Francisco Symphony for eleven years. Who am I?

      Answer: Herbert Blomstedt, Swedish conductor, but born in the USA

      Tuesday, July 10

      The German composer Carl Orff was born on this date in 1895 in Munich. In addition to his composing, Orff developed an influential method of music education for children called Schulwerk. But he is best-remembered for his scenic cantata Carmina Burana, based on 13th-century texts discovered in a Benedictine Abbey in 1803. What are the opening words of Carmina Burana? The first two words are enough.

      Answer: O Fortuna—Oh, fortune

      Monday, July 9

      Today is the birthday of Italian composer Ottorino Respighi, born in Bologna in 1879. His interest in early music led to his suites of Ancient Airs and Dances as well as The Birds. But he is best-known for his Roman Trilogy. What are the three compositions in Respighi’s Roman Trilogy?

      Answer: Fountains of Rome, Pines of Rome, Roman Festivals (Feste Romane)

      Friday, July 6, 2012

      Tomorrow is the 152nd birthday of Gustav Mahler — but we’re celebrating today! Mahler lived only to the age of 50, leaving his 9th Symphony and Das Lied von der Erde as yet unperformed at his death. Better known as a conductor during his lifetime, Mahler was sure that his compositions would eventually achieve fame. A quotation from a letter written by Mahler expressed this sentiment and has come to be thought of almost as a motto. What is this phrase by Mahler?

      Answer: "My time will come."

      Thursday, July 5, 2012

      American poet Vachel Lindsay, a native of Springfield, IL, wrote the poem “General William Booth Enters into Heaven.” Then, American composer Charles Ives set it to music in 1914. What organization did General William Booth found on this date in 1865 in London?

      Answer: The Salvation Army

      Wednesday, July 4, 2012

      There is no quiz today. Check back tomorrow at 9:00 am for a new quiz.

      Tuesday, July 3, 2012

      Tomorrow is Independence Day, the Fourth of July, and we will not have a quiz. On July 4, 1826—the 50th birthday of our nation, and the day that both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died—a famous American composer was born in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania. Sometimes known as “the Father of American Music,” he is most remembered for his hundreds of songs. Who is this American composer?

      Answer: Stephen Foster

      Monday, July 2, 2012

      Who am I? I was born on this date in 1940 in Chattanooga, TN where my father was president of the local opera association. I began studying trumpet at the age of 11 before switching to my current instrument. I played in Leopold Stokowski’s American Symphony Orchestra, the Symphony of the Air, and the Kansas City Philharmonic. I also played in the pit for the musical “Oliver” on Broadway. I have held my current position in Chicago since 1966. Who am I?

      Answer: Dale Clevenger, principal horn of the CSO

      Friday, June 29

      Today is the 104th birthday of American composer Leroy Anderson. While still a student at Harvard, he was invited to arrange and composer for the Boston Pops which gave the premieres of most of his famous works. His first attempt at a more serious composition was first performed at the Grant Park Music Festival in 1953, but the work was not published until 1988. What is this work by Leroy Anderson?

      Answer: His Piano Concerto, played at GP by Eugene List with the composer conducting

      Thursday, June 28

      Baritone Thomas Hampson was born on this date in 1955. One of the great singing artists of our time-and a great friend of WFMT, Mr. Hampson has been taking on some heavier baritone roles lately-including Verdi's Macbeth here in Chicago two seasons ago, and another role which he will sing at Santa Fe this summer. What is that role?

      Answer: Baron Scarpia in Tosca

      Wednesday, June 27, 2012

      What do these musical works have in common? Vivaldi's Violin Concerto in E, Op.8 #1...Benjamin Britten's Symphony, Op.44...Beethoven's Violin Sonata #5 in F...Schumann's Symphony #1 in Bb, Op.38?

      Answer: They all are nicknamed "Spring."

      Tuesday, June 26, 2012

      Yesterday marked the 102nd anniversary of the world premiere of the ballet The Firebird. Based on Russian folk tales of a magical glowing bird, The Firebird also marked the beginning of the collaboration between Stravinsky and Serge Diaghilev that would produce two more famous ballets in the next three years. What were those next two Diaghilev/Stravinsky productions?

      Answer: Petrushka and The Rite of Spring

      Monday, June 25

      There is no quiz today. Check back tomorrow for a new quiz.

      Tuesday, December 25, 2012
      Christmas Playlist

      Join Carl from 6:00-10:00 am Tuesday, December 25, as he celebrates the holiday season with music.

      6:00 am

      Time Piece Label
      6:05 am Bidding Bell of St. Paul's Cathedral, London (0:55)
      Trad: Come, Thou Redeemer of the Earth (4:05)
      St. Paul's Cathedral Cho;Dearnley,o;English Brass Ens/Scott
      Guild 7152
      6:11 am Carillon of Midnight, Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris (1:05)
      Trad: Hodie Christus natus est (1:05)
      Gruber: Stille Nacht (3:30)
      Notre Dame Cathedral Cho;Cochereau,o;ens/Revert
      FY CD 006
      6:18 am Trad: Venite/Bell peal/Introit (8:35)
      Schola Cantorum, St. Peter's in the Loop/Thompson
      Imaginary Rd. 528 869-2
      6:29 am Wagner: Siegfried Idyll (18:15)
      Berlin Phil/Levine
      DG 435 883-2
      6:49 am Britten: Procession/Wolcum Yule fr Ceremony of Carols (2:40)
      Women of Shaw Ch Singers/Shaw
      Telarc 80461
      6:53 am Bach: fr Christmas Oratorio – Pastorale/Cho Break forth (6:05)
      Atl SO & Cho/Shaw
      MMG 7163

      7:00 am

      Time Piece Label
      7:04 am Respighi: Adoration of the Magi fr Botticelli Triptych (8:45)
      St. Paul Ch Orch/Wolff
      Teldec 18970-2
      7:14 am Joubert: Torches (1:35)
      Cho-King's College, Cambridge/Willcocks
      Lon 444 848-2
      7:16 am Trad. Italian: How unto Bethlehem (1:15)
      Trad. English: How far is it to Bethlehem? (1:55)
      Shaw Chorale/Shaw
      RCA 1217
      7:20 am Vivaldi: fr Gloria in D, RV 589–Gloria in excelsis/Domine Deus (6:25)
      Upshaw,s;Atl SO & Cho/Shaw
      Telarc 80194
      7:27 am Trad: Personent Hodie (2:50)
      MOB/Zelnis
      MOB rec.
      7:33 am Victoria: O Magnum Mysterium (4:00)
      His Majestie's Clerkes/Heider
      Centaur 2048
      7:37 am Trad. French: Noel, Noel, Bells are Ringing (2:20)
      Trad. Ukrainian: Carol of the Bells (1:30)
      Wagner Chorale/Wagner
      Delos 3072
      Trad. French: Ding Dong Merrily on High (1:50)
      Cambridge Singers/Rutter
      Collegium 503
      7:43 am Trad. German: In dulci jubilo (3:15)
      Bach Cho/Willcocks
      Lon 417 898-2
      arr. Bach: In dulci jubilo (1:55)
      Friederich,o
      LaserLight 15272
      arr. Praetorious: In dulci jubilo (2:10)
      Guttler Brass Ens
      LaserLight 15276
      7:51 am Bach: fr Cantata #140 Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme–Opening cho/final cho (8:05)
      Gachinger Kantorei;Bach Ens-Stuttgart/Rilling
      Hanssler set Vol. 44

      8:00 am

      Time Piece Label
      8:04 am Mendelssohn/arr. Willcocks: Hark the Herald Angels Sing (3:40)
      Bach Cho;Ashton Brass;Scott,organ/Willcocks
      Chandos 8973
      8:08 am Rutter: What Sweeter Music (4:15)
      Cambridge Singers;London Sinfonia/Rutter
      Colleg 111
      8:13 am Hopkins: We Three Kings (3:10)
      Trad. French: March of the Three Kings (1:15)
      Shaw Ch Singers/Shaw
      Telarc 80377
      Lully: March of the Turenne Regiment (1:40)
      Collegium Musicum,Paris/Douatte
      Nonesuch LP H-1009
      Bizet: Farandole fr L'Arlesienne incidental music (3:25)
      Bastille Orch/Chung
      DG 431 778-2
      8:25 am Anon. Spanish: Canta, Rie, Bebe (3:00)
      Las Avemarianas Children's Cho;orch
      Phil LP PHS 600-036
      8:29 am Gruber: Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht (3:35)
      Schwarzkopf,s;Bream,g;ens/Mackerras
      EMI 63574-2
      8:34 am Bach: In dir ist Freude (3:00)
      M-C Alain,o
      Erato 10703-2
      8:37 am Trad. English: Joy to the World (1:50)
      Philadelphia Orch/Ormandy
      CBS 6369
      8:39 am Berlin: White Christmas (with white Christmas data/forecast) (2:50)
      Boston Pops/Fiedler
      RCA 61685-2
      8:42 am Goss: See amid the winter's snow (4:00)
      Cho-King's College, Cambridge/Willcocks
      Lon 444 848-2
      8:46 am various: Vom Himmel hoch sequence fr several composers (5:30)
      MOB/Wikman
      MOB 109
      8:51 am Schein: Vom Himmel hoch (1:30)
      Guttler Brass Ens
      LaserLight 15276
      8:54 am Trad. Afr-American/arr.Heider: Go Tell It on the Mountain (2:20)
      His Majestie's Clerkes/Heider
      Centaur 2168
      8:57 am Kirkpatrick/arr.Willcocks: Away in a Manger (2:25)
      Bach Cho/Willcocks
      Lon 417 898-2

      9:00 am

      Time Piece Label
      9:04 am Trad: O Come, All Ye Faithful (4:10)
      Bach Cho;Ashton Brass;Scott,organ/Willcocks
      Chandos 8973
      9:09 am Holst: Christmas Day (6:35)
      Ferris Chorale/French
      WFC 120607
      9:17 am Handel: fr Messiah–For unto us a child is born thru Glory to God (8:50)
      Auger,s;English Concert & Cho/Pinnock
      Arc 423 630-2
      9:28 am Trad. Afr-Amer/arr.Jennings: Medley of Christmas Spirituals (6:25)
      Chanticleer
      Chanticleer 8803
      9:34 am Trad: Te Deum Laudamus (Solemn tone with handbells) (5:55)
      MOB/Wikman
      MOB 108
      9:41 am Adam: Cantique de Noel (O Holy Night) (4:15)
      Pavarotti,t;Natl Phil/Adler
      Lon 433 010-2
      9:45 am Hairston: Mary's Boy Child (3:35)
      Terfel,br;Martineau,p
      DG 457 357-2
      9:49 am Ives: A Christmas Carol (Little Star of Bethlehem) (2:05)
      DeGaetani,ms;Kalish,p
      None 71325-2
      9:54 am Bach: fr Christmas Oratorio,BWV 248–Final cho (Nun seid ihr wohl gerochen) (3:10)
      Leipzig Radio Cho;Dresden St. Orch/Schreier [Guttler,tr]
      Phil 475 9155
      9:58 am Trad. English: We wish you a Merry Christmas (1:00)
      Philadelphia Brass Ens
      CBS 7033